Trees of December

december tree I drive by this tree everyday on my way to work. Covered in snow it is even more glorious. My whole family knows…that is my favorite little tree.

tree I drew this during a time of quiet reflection. If you click on the picture you can see the words Love, Hope and Faith hidden among the branches. All these things are there for the taking, but you have to be looking for them…intentionaly chasing after them.

The other day my youngest daughter (age 6) pipes up and says, “You know…a lot of people think bare trees in the winter are ugly, but I don’t. I think they are really pretty and interesting…especially with snow on them”.

Wow. She gets it already. I am not sure if I have influenced her by my frequent comments, drawing and photos of trees in the winter time. I am kinda fascinated with them.

Maybe because they are so paradoxical. So simple, yet so complicated. Simple silhouettes against a sky or sometimes a tangled mass of chaos.

Even more ironic is that I wrote a song years ago – and I am pretty sure she has never even heard the song, but in this case…the branches don’t fall far from the tree. The song pretty much sums up exactly how I feel about the whole subject.

Trees of December – ca. 2005

Autumn’s come and gone, all the trees are bare.
They reach their strong arms to the sky
But does anyone really care? Is anyone even there?
But they hold their ground…without a sound.
Just the wind blowing through their arms
And they wave so gracefully. They hold their mystery, for the time…

When the spring arrives and they show the glory of the work they’ve done
In the secrecy of the winter.
Just below the surface, the whole time they’ve been busy getting ready
For the splendor they’ll adorn.

Does anybody ever look at the trees in December?
Does anyone see the beauty they behold?
They hold their complicated branches reaching ever towards the gray dark sky.
Even in the dead of the winter.

So are you and I. More than meets the eye.
Underneath the surface we hold secret mysteries…love and injuries.
And we go down deep. More than what is seen.
Yet we fail to recognize our roots are intertwined. We act as if we’re blind…When we…

We judge other trees by their branches…and we cut the things we fear…
May cause trouble down the road.
We step back to see the damage we caused but it’s much too late
and cannot be undone.

Has anybody ever seen the trees in December?
Does anyone see the wisdom they reveal?
In all of their bare majesty we see their branches so clearly
But still, there’s so much below the surface.

Has anybody ever felt like a tree in December?
Screaming out with arms stretched open, wide?
Feeling so misunderstood, looking like some dead, gray wood
Yet still, so alive beneath the surface?