Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm a Shrub

A sea of asphalt. Trees of iron. Stars of fluorescent light. Torrents of souls flooding a vast, expansive gully complete with steel reinforcement. They mock me. All things impersonal and even the dearest of friends. But it must be. I could get lost, swept away by either the sea, the forest, the stars, or in the gully itself. I have to have a place of grounding, a point of reference, a navigational placard. I am peculiar, granted--I can agree with my friends on that point. But to mock a poor soul that must--after all other options have been tried or all other choices have been argued--venture out into the dark sea lots and trudge through the expansive gully known as Wal-mart, surely they can grant me some repose, some solace, some comfort that at least my ship has been parked by a true point of reference, a deeply rooted (or newly rooted) edifice of purely natural cause and calling, a rarity in a world of steel reinforcement...a tree.

A friend (yes one of the mockers) was reading through a dictionary one evening (those are the type friends I have...crazy ones that read through dictionaries) and came upon a new nickname for me: shrubby cinquefoil. The following is a description care of Utah State University:

Shrubby cinquefoil is a deciduous, multi-stemmed and many branched shrub, reaching heights of 1 to 6.5 feet. The growth form of shrubby cinquefoil varies; it occurs as a low mat and as an erect shrub. Shrubby cinquefoil has a shallow to moderately deep, spreading root system with thin woody roots. Flowers from late May to late September, seeds mature from late summer to early fall. Regenerates from wind-dispersed seed and by sprouting from the root crown.

I know not why. I know not how. I know not from whence I came to this subconscious, yet decisive conclusion, but when I go any where--drive any where--I always park in front of a tree. Second tree from the left end, right side, second row of the back church parking lot on Sunday mornings. Third tree from the right end, left side in the front of the church parking lot on week days. There is a tree for work. There is a tree for home. There is a tree for my parent's house, for my friends' house, the bank, the other bank, and several at Wal-mart (if I am ever so inclined, or feel the need to go there). I have a fairly poor memory when it comes to the daily tasks and maintenance of my own life. While I can keep track of others quite well, I must employ a long list of checks and balances in my own life to even remember to employ checks and balances. So, I park by trees so that I will not forget.

I know my shrubby appellation fit so very well with my propensity toward tree parking, but it set me on a quest, a quest to be more than a shrub, to do more than just park by a tree...I want to BE the tree!

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

I can only hope that my inner longing to find that navigational bearing in the midst of a synthetic world will lead me to the place where I can be more rooted in something eternally fruitful rather than be swept away down stream, as if I only had the root system of a shrub.


BriannaB said...

you must have some strange friends...reading through dictionaries and all...


Inkling said...

As you grow from a lovable and eloquent shrub to an equally lovable and astute tree, I'm glad my nephew has you to learn from, laugh with, and have his nappies changed on occasion. If I had to pick a surrogate aunt to take my place, who better than the most creative aspiring tree I know? =)