Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Oak Tree’s Lover

We live in a hundred year old house, with a hundred year old oak tree out front. I often find myself pointing out the window at the tree to teach clients how to have a happy marriage.

I tell them about the other oak tree which used to be right next to ours, in our neighbor's yard. They stood for a century, with only a thin, split-rail fence between them, their limbs forming a huge, green gumdrop that could be seen for blocks.

Last winter, my neighbor's tree fell in a storm, so now my tree stands alone, and I can see, for the first time, how unbalanced it is: all the limbs face towards my house. The other tree was so close my tree didn't bother, or didn't have the room, to grow in that direction. It wasn't obvious when the other tree was there, but now my tree looks misshapen, like it may fall at any moment.

Here's a picture of our tree:

Across the street is another oak tree, planted at about the same time. For a hundred years it has reached towards my tree, and mine has stretched and grown towards it. They are just about to touch. A hundred years of desire, about to be consummated.

That tree looks strong and balanced, full and healthy.

Perhaps our culture's model of relationship: two people pressed up against each other, isn't the best configuration for a long and healthy love.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking how sweet for your tree to find a new love so late in life...