I have a special love for the madrona tree. A tree native to the western coastal areas of this continent, its bark a beautiful auburn and leaves a deep, muted green. The only deciduous tree that doesn’t lose its leaves during the winter. A madrona will twist and shift and bend in order to be under the gaze of the sun. A tree that will still live when blown down, if still rooted. I love this tree. I can almost always spot them in a stand of trees or along the side of the road.
This morning I saw, for the first time, the most beautiful madrona I think I have ever seen. She stands at the top of the ridge that is Military Road. She stands straight and has a canopy that even a maple would envy. One day soon, I will visit her and hope to wrap my arms around her.
The madrona is a beautiful example of how to persist. But she is also a beautiful example of what community can be. One legend is that her webbed roots hold the splintered world together. She is also known as a symbol of depth and integrity.
In my neighborhood, the madrona literally holds our hillside together and helps keep it from crumbling. Stands of beautiful madrona pepper the hillside and infuse our community with depth and integrity.
I’ve been chasing off worry a lot lately. He and his pal, fear, have been darkening my doorstep far too often these days. You know, as people get older, I think it gets easier to give in to these two dipwads. Understamd, they have their place, but it is not a good life to live with these two as guides.
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about where the helpers are for me. I’m blessed to have beautiful, wonderful people to help me through some of the darker moments, but honestly, the majority of the work to overcome the presence of fear and worry has to be done alone. So, my helpers have shown up in ways unexpected. The nightly migration of crows, making their journey, as one spectacular community, from the banks of the Duwamish to the valley. The presence of the madrona, silently and majestically reminding me to look deeper. To have faith. To keep making space for truth, justice and honesty.
I hope that we all can slow and calm down enough to find the helpers. The nudges from the great beyond, that whisper, be good, be strong, be hopeful and have faith. All that is good is just around the corner.