The Roots of the Mother Tree : Part Two
(if you wish to read Part One first, go here)
“The tea,” she says,
“is from the roots of the Mother Tree,” as if that
explains the flavor.
“Go easy,” she says.
Then I am floating above my house.
I see the white picket fence and
it looks like the jaws of death.
I see my children sleeping.
My husband is in his chair,
a book in his lap,
the dog laying at his feet.
Looks up but does not see me.
My children are in bed.
The house is quiet and sad.
The reality that I am missing
from the picture pricks my heart.
I wonder what would happen
if I never went back?
There it is again.
“What do you see?” she asks.
“That I am missing from the picture?” I offer a possibility.
“Exactly . . .,” she says, quietly, somberly.
“You will have to paint yourself in,
write yourself in, if you are willing.
That will take intentional creativity
and a bit of you and a bit of me.”
I am not sure I want
to paint myself back in.
I fear what will be required of me.
What happens if I turn towards love,
and the love I may most need
is love for myself?
I somehow fly around the house,
and out I go—as long as I am flying,
I want to go to Golden Gate Park.
I try to leave,
but I feel her tugging on my foot,
and then I am back with her.
“Must I love myself to love others?”
I ask her, landing hard, back in my body.
Roots of the Mother tree, indeed.
She considers my question.
“No and yes,”
she says as a black and green
butterfly lands on her hand.
“Say more, please . . ..
If you desire to be loved,
then you must love.
And to love that big,
loving yourself is part of the journey.
So you don’t just fall in love with you,
just because. If it were that easy,
everyone would be doing it, right?”
“Right,” I say, but I am not sure
I am getting it.
“Everything you want,
crave, desire . . . you must
want to give to those you love.
But not to your own detriment—
all of you together.
You have been withholding,
so they naturally withhold from you.
There is no one to blame.
Remove the blame,
and all you have
is the next day to fall in love.”
If it was only that easy,
but somehow, I trust her.
I feel a surge of hope rise
from the soles of my feet
up my body to the top
of my head.
“What do you crave?” she asks
I know the answer this time.
My heart is squeezing in my chest.
I am trying to speak, but tears are
I manage to squeak out,
“I crave true love”
“Then be true love!”
she yells out, as if it is a song.
My tears fall to the ground.
Bright green sprouts spring up
where they land.
I am mesmerized.
I look up at her
to see if she can see
what I am seeing,
how my tears are sprouting
And she does, smiling a wide grin.
A smile so unashamed,
I am almost jealous of her freedom.
I am in my own bed
and morning is filtering lavender light
through the curtains.
He is looking at me,
touching my hair.
“Good morning, honey.
Did you know you have leaves
in your hair?” He pulls one out
and smells it, asking “Eucalyptus?”
I just nod, smiling sheepishly,
I snuggle closer.
His arm easily moves around me,
pulling me closer,
smelling my hair
as if he is inhaling me.
He can smell the night on me.
We don’t have any eucalyptus nearby.
I am grateful that more is
not required in this moment.
He is often so gentle about
not asking too many questions.
“What do you want to do today?”
he asks into the top of my head.
“Paint?” I say it almost like question
“Sounds like a GREAT idea—
I’ll make pancakes”
I laugh then, more easily than usual.
I smile at him, this time
without the white picket fence.
He smiles back—
he has no fence between us.
I am the gatekeeper.
I choose today
to keep the gate open.
Later that day,
out of the blue,
when he suggests
we redesign the garden,
starting with taking out the fence,
I quickly agree.
Somehow, when I open to him,
he opens to me.
I remember her words
“Love lives where life grows.”
I am amazed at this revelation:
When I open to him, he opens to me.
This makes me wonder
if other relationships
work the same way?
The wishbone is still on the windowsill,
waiting for the next visit from the Muse.
It may be a while between visits—
it all depends on the actions I take in between.
What if another moon goes by.
And I forget about her as I have done before?
What if the studio door remains closed?
I am feeling restless.
I pull out my journal,
words come easily.
I am marking the page with my
changes of energy.
The roots of the mother tree
begin to grow onto the page.
I feel the strength in me.
Something has to change.
Or maybe this is what change feels like—
gorgeously green and leafy.
I count myself as lucky
to have shared tea with the Muse.
The roots of the Mother Tree are working in me.
Muse at the Back Door Series – Part two from A White Picket Fence Around My Laughter
Painting – Tree of Life 2001
Red Thread Letter #835