thirteen years ago, after a short stretch of teaching, i had the treasured opportunity to work on a state-funded project at the state nursery in southern indiana. i spent many, mostly-solitary days grafting trees and taking care of the orchards—a couple of which i planted, while trying to stay onboard an old, shaky planter making its way through rows of rugged terrain.:)
i cultivated lasting friendships with these trees in the same way that i cultivate friendships with any other being. they have listened to my dreams and have heard my laughter. they have caught frustrated tears and have touched my sweat. they have witnessed both weak and strong moments.
it’s been over ten years since last visiting them.
they have grown and changed.
so have i.
often, while working here, i would slow down the tractor—or pause, if on foot—to take in the beauty around me—the trees, the insects, the animals, the forested, hilly vistas just beyond my immediate surroundings. i remember frequently, during these momentary breaks, hearing myself say the words, ‘i am here’—an audible acknowledgment of all encircling grace.
this majestic world was and is a part of me, in ways that i am certain i will only appreciate more as i continue to age with this planet.
i really loved working and being here.
it was good to be here again.