inevitable winter

April 20, 2007  |  poetry

sunday scribblings, rooted

I want to get to the root of this. Dig it up, look at it, dip it in water to wash the imperfections clean, to give it a fresh start. Find the source of the root ball and strip away the dirt. Strip away everything that isn’t root.Sometimes trees seem so deeply rooted in the ground that their trunks seem like arms, their branches hands, their roots hands gripping the soil. And sometimes it seems the soil grips back, tightens, tenses around the tree to hold it firm in place.

In New Orleans, after Katrina, the trees that were left standing had protected the house next to which it was planted. The trees that fell often damaged more than the storm.

And it was the native trees, the ones who had been interacting with that particular land for the longest, that didn’t fall.

I want this with you. I want to dig my roots in and feel you grip me. I want to discover where I’ve come from by creating somewhere to go.

Right now, I can only see the trunk, can only see the leaves, and they are budding, they are quivering with blossom in the ready, they are tiny young leaves so baby-green and fresh, ready to burst into something grand, ready to spread and open and course chlorophyll through the veins of it until it courses its last green and turns to yellow, orange, red.

It’s beautiful, my darling. The way things grow and change and come forth in spring.

But if it is not rooted it will not last through winter. And winter will come, yes, the seasons change, the cycles go on, and we are nothing but animals on this miraculous circular ecosystem, after all.

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6 Comments


  1. its so true that the deeper the roots of a tree the stronger it is and the more it can withstand. I like the way you interweave the trees into the narrative.

  2. I first read the title as “Ineveitable writer.” I guess that would be true as well. Very passionate writing! I love thinking about the trees holding the houses down.

  3. I enjoyed following along in what you wrote.

    Funny thing about roots, the largest trees have some of the shallowest root systems, relative to their size — the redwoods.

    What they lack in depth they make up for in breadth.

    Does that mean, if you really want to “loom large” in life, you need to spread yourself around?

    –and so it goes–
    …Rob

  4. God, that was beautiful…

  5. I really enjoyed reading this and especially liked the images of how the trees 'left standing had protected the house next to which it was planted.' Nice work!

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