I saw the tree yesterday when I walked out back to let the dog chase some birds around our small yard.
Its leaves are green—even in this humid yet dry central Texas summer. Every season the leaves turn. The dark green of spring makes way to an eventual light dusting in the summer. In the fall, the leaves break away from the branches, bright oranges and reds sprinkling the lawn around the base. In the winter, the limbs reach toward the sky, a yearning for new life.
I think this is what drew my attention to the tree a year ago.
I snapped a photo of her then, thinking of the change I could feel in the breeze and the transitions I saw in the color. I remember breathing deep and letting out the tension slowly—because in the middle of summer doldrums, sometimes you can just feel the exhale of cooler air.
I took the picture days after our very first referral and weeks after signing with my agent. The contrast of leaves beautifully indicative of our changing fortune. A mother had chosen us. An agent had picked me.
In other words, things were looking up, ol' Sport. I wanted to mark the time. Stand witness.
So yesterday, as I sat in one of our withering porch chairs and stared at the leaves beginning to change against the backdrop of lush green, I closed my eyes against the breeze brushing my skin.
Sometimes, hope really is a revolutionary patience.
You know what these seasons have been like for me. You know the fall broke me and pushed me into the great winter of discontent. Spring breathed new life—for a spell—and then summer dried that hope right up, right when I was about to grab it whole.
And these are just the things you know. The disappointments I chose to share. The betrayals I held open for you to see.
I've had more than a few people tell me "Elora you can be so hard to read sometimes..." and part of me laughs when I hear those words because for someone who feels everything and fears the twist of a lip can reveal my deepest secret, it's good to know I can hold on to a few things.
Even though I can't hold on to anything. The leaves still fall—remnants of what was and what I hoped would come.
I think of time and seasons. I think of the tree, still standing there in spite of storms thrashing against it and the way the wind makes the leaves seem alive with song. That's what I want. To feel alive even in the midst of the messiness of every day life—even through the storms and the changing seasons and what they don't bring. Because these branches in my heart will always be reaching toward the sky, bare and begging, hoping for some kind of new life waiting in the next breath.