Natural Beauty

The sun begins to set once more, and the view from our deck takes my breath away. Though the old and well rooted trees that shoot toward the heavens may seem a hinderance to some…I find it all the more beautiful. Fading to night the sky gives off a glow I have come to find great solace in. In the tree line is a worn and well aged Locust tree, bark long gone, clay white, broken branches. Yet there she stands still beautiful. I often imagine the things she’s seen hanging over the ravine. The lives that have passed her by.

A well hidden trail winds down to the creek bed, passing an old and rusted fence. Deep within a long and winding bramble is the foundation of what was once a beautiful cottage, filled to the brim with life and love, maybe an irresistible hideaway from the long hours of turning the soil beneath the Locust. It longs for the sunlight, to be loved once more. I am sure it too, has many stories waiting to be discovered.

The end of the trail meets the water. Deer, raccoon, coyote prints scatter the earth. Even the creek bed gives away its secrets. Bent and partially buried horse shoes, pieces of an old revolver, large rusted nails. Seasons have come and gone. Flood, drought, pain and suffering…it remains. It’s route unchanged and in its own way, rebelling against time.

As the sun nears its final bow, a warmth that is rarely felt this time of year sweeps across my face. My body turns to find its source, my eyes close and I find myself lost in the ephemeral beauty of this forgotten and enchanting place. The smell of the underbrush, fallen limbs, and new life permeate my senses. The Locust nearly lost to the darkness and with clouds rolling in, I turn to walk inside.

I have cried here. I have loved here. I have seen the decay and the growth of many seasons. Missed opportunities and forgotten sonnets…all from this place. The Locust remains a faithful companion, hovering patiently. She waits for me, day and night, unafraid of my life, teaching me the beauty of my scars, the strength of my soul. Her roots give me courage as her shadow looms under the moonlight. Her broken branches tell her story…and mine.

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