Saturday, December 21, 2013
It was coming on towards winter and Susie, a leaf, was still hanging on the old apple tree. She couldn't understand why she was still there. All the other leaves had fallen off a long time ago but she was still hanging there. She was kind of dried up and a little crinkly but she was still there and wondering what's it all about? There'd been plenty of breezes but she hadn't fallen yet.
Fortunately she had friends that came around and visited with her. Her best friends were Mortimer the mouse and Andre her bird friend. They would come around and talk to her when they had a moment because their lives were busy like every one else.
As it was starting to get cooler, Mortimer had taken to telling Susie about the nest that he was building and Susie got interested in that and at the same time Andre stopped by. Mortimer and Andre were friends too. And Andre said, "Yes, yes." That he was also helping to build a nest that had to be very warm but it was difficult because there were twigs and there were some old feathers that he found around and he needed something to be like insulation to make the nest warmer.
Susie perked up when she heard that and she said, "What about the leaves on the ground that have already fallen?" And they said, taking turns since they agreed and occasionally talking over each other when they would get excited, "Oh yes, we have used a lot of those but there's something special that's needed and we're just not sure what it is."
Susie wriggled a little bit and she said, "Maybe you need something personal, something friendly because a nest is a special place. It's your home. It's where you'll have your children. It's where everyone will grow up and look back on it fondly and say 'home' in that special way we say home. Do you know what I mean?"
Mortimer and Andre looked at each other and they realized that she was right. "How are we going to do that," they said. "It seems to me," said Mortimer who was a deep thinker, " that a leaf like that…," as he looked on the ground and there were hundreds, maybe thousands of leaves there from the old tree that Susie was attached to as well as all the other trees in the forest. "It seems that there needs to be some kind of personal feeling in that leaf so that the friendliness and the love is there in the leaf itself. Does that sound right," Mortimer said looking at Susie.
Susie was quiet. She was thinking but Andre chimed in, "Yes, yes. That sounds exactly right. How will we find such a leaf?" Susie realized - this is why she was still on the tree. She said, "Maybe I'm that leaf! You're my best friends and I'd love to be part of your nest Mortimer and your nest Andre. Is there any chance, I mean I'm still on the tree. I haven't fallen off. Maybe that's what I've been waiting for!"
Mortimer and Andre looked at each other, "Would it be alright? I mean you're our friend. We'd feel a little funny about that because - you know - well, I'd have to take part" said Andre and kind of trailed off a bit and Mortimer chimed in, "And I'd have to take part" and also kind of trailed off a bit. Susie said, "No no, it's fine, it's fine. I want to do that." So they settled in to wait.
Meanwhile Mortimer was continuing to build his nest and Andre was continuing to build his nest and one day when the three of them were gathered on the tree limb where Susie still seemed to be, they saw a few snowflakes coming. "Oh my," they said, "What are we going to do?"
And suddenly without any warning Susie fell from the tree. "Oh boy," she said all the way down, "This is going to be my chance." There was almost no wind so she fell almost straight down.
Mortimer rushed to the ground and Andre flew down to the ground and they were both there moving around under Susie as she was floating down and floating down and finally she hit the ground and she could feel herself crackle and break up a bit. Andre gently stepped on part of Susie to keep her from blowing away on a light breeze that just came up and Mortimer softly stepped on another part and they said, "Are you alright? We're not stepping on you too hard?"
"No no," she said, "You did just right. Oh this is great," she continued. "Oh, I feel myself beginning to fall apart. I didn't realize that's what happened when leaves touched the ground."
"Oh yes," Mortimer said speaking wisely after his several years of building different nests, "Yes, crinkly leaves often fall apart almost immediately when they hit the ground," as they did in the forest where they all lived.
"Oh, you better be quick then," Susie said, "Quick. Take some parts. I want to be part of your nest Mortimer and I want to be part of your nest Andre and maybe, maybe there's enough of me." She felt herself breaking up even before they had a chance to do that.
She didn't know quite what was happening but it's really just part of the natural way of the Earth that things move from shape to shape. Mortimer said, "We better do this quick," to Andre as he noticed Susie breaking up into smaller and smaller parts.
Andre and Mortimer gathered up all of the parts they could find and raced back to their nests. They worked for a couple of hours running and flying back and forth to their nests with each gathering as much of their precious friend as they could.
All the time Susie felt like she was kind of sleepy. She would be there and then she wasn't and then she would be there and then she wasn't. She wasn't sure where she was going but she began to feel that she was going some place else. She didn't realize that would happen. Her last memories though as a crinkled old leaf were of her friends.
Meanwhile Mortimer was singing and he said, "Oh, my nest feels so much warmer and everyone will be so happy and Andre was singing, "Oh everything feels so much more loving and friendly and cheerful with my dear friend here."
But Susie wasn't only there. She felt herself rising up and she wasn't sure where she was going. She wasn't in the form of a leaf anymore but she just knew she was going somewhere. She went way up in the sky and she wasn't sure where she was going.
Suddenly she heard a voice, "Susie," the voice said, "It's time for you to go someplace much warmer and they'll be lots of new friends there and you'll even be able to hear Mortimer's songs sometimes if you want to and Andre's songs too, if you're interested, from their nests while they're wintering." "Oh my," said Susie, "That sounds wonderful."
"But now," the warm and friendly voice continued, "it's time for you to go to a new place where it's only and always warm and comfortable. It's in a different part of the world in a forest where there's lots of rain and where there are lots of other types of life. You'll like it there."
Pretty soon Susie felt herself very small and she vaguely remembered being small before. She realized she was in a bud on a tree and pretty soon the sun was shining. She could tell because she was getting warmer and she felt herself opening.
She felt herself sprouting from the bud and pretty soon even though she was very little she could tell she was deep in a warm and wonderful forest where things were quiet but in the distance she heard birds singing their songs and not very far away she saw - who was that?
It was a little mouse in her tree and the mouse said, "Hi. My names Willy. What's yours?" And Susie knew she'd found her new home.
Love lives on forever in many ways. May you have a most loving and happy holiday now and forever. Goodlife to you all.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
She thought back to the days of when they first met every time that she looked at that old frame, even from the side, with the picture of them in their heyday - very young and full of spunk - and they loved each other so much - she felt a surge of that love again.
She wheeled over to get a little closer so she could see it better. The picture was in black and white because it was taken a long time ago. She remembered, "I think it was taken in the forties - yes it was the forties," she thought.
The picture frame wasn't very fancy. It was a wooden frame but it was carved nicely. Her husband had carved it and made it special to fit the picture. The picture was big for its day, a portrait - and he made a special folding bracket in the back so that it could either stand up or be hung from a wall. That was not widely available then, not as now.
Tilly got a little closer to the picture because she had to these days, and put on her special glasses for seeing things close up. She looked at it.
There they were, young as could be sitting on the rail of the corral and smiling. Inside the corral was her favorite horse. She remembered that horse very well. She wasn't her horse but she was a good horse and Tilly liked visiting with her.
That was the ranch that her family visited when she was younger, a teenager. That's where she met her husband. He was working at the ranch on a summer job and the two of them just clicked.
They stayed in touch over the years through school. She went to college and he went to trade school and became a Farrier - shoeing horses - and she didn't realize then that their friendship would grow into something that lasted her whole lifetime.
She didn't think he did either at the time but later on when they were married finally, she found out that he had always had his eye on her and had fallen in love with her - deeply in love when they had first met.
She, on the other hand, liked him very much as a friend initially but over the years through college and the hard work and the study and onward afterwards to getting her medical license and becoming a General Practitioner just like her father - she felt through those years of study and working and practice that there was something missing in her life.
She wrote weekly to her friend but the older she got and the more into her professional work she got, she realized that she didn't know anybody or appreciate anybody or really - by that time in her life - she admitted it - she didn't love anybody as much as she loved Bill.
So, after she completed her residency she decided that she owed herself a trip and she took that trip back to Duluth, Minnesota where Bill had his Farrier practice and she didn't tell him she was coming.
She figured that if she'd see him, if he was married, she'd smile and shake hands and shake hands with his wife and meet his kids and so on - she didn't know, she wasn't sure, she wasn't as confident as she got to be later - in his love.
She went to his place where he worked on the horses and there he was - and lo and behold - she couldn't believe it - there was a picture of her on the wall next to his tools.
He was working cleaning his tools when she walked in. Of course he was older and she'd seen a couple of pictures that he'd sent but he wasn't much into pictures although she liked photography very much.
Tilly made a little sound, "Ahem" and he turned around slowly and his face lit up and his eyes were wide and he walked slowly towards her and there were tears at the corners of his eyes.
He said, "I was afraid I'd never see you again," and she said, "I knew I had to come." They hugged each other and she said without shame very quickly, "Are you married?" and he said, "No." And he said just as quickly, "Are you married?" And she said, "No." And he said, "Well, let's do something about that." Within three weeks they were married and they were married for fifty years.
He had recently passed away and now a day didn't go by when she didn't wheel over in her chair and stop and look at that picture and know that true love lasts and sometimes it lasts even longer then you thought it would and sometimes it lives on forever.
Happy Valentines Day.