filled with light
5.27.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

It had been well over a week since I had last visited Grandmother Elm. Almost two weeks – thirteen days to be exact. I might not be visiting her as often as I had hoped to in the days ahead. As you might imagine, having a cancer patient in the house has made planning our days unpredictable, as we slowly adjust to expecting the unexpected. But look how well the elm’s leaf canopy has filled in during my absence!
5.27.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver
(Thirst: Poems)
5.27.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

According to one Celtic tree calendar, my birth date (January 12-24 and July 15-25) makes the elm, the good-tempered tree, my guardian tree. And my gemstone is the moonstone. Deposits of moonstone can be found in Norway!
5.27.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

You are probably quite unaware of the value of your ability to conquer anxiety, just as you are unaware that you are hard-working, reliable and creative. You don’t try to belong to any group and you don’t want to be organised. On the contrary, you are allergic to labels, even respectable ones. You are overcome by embarrassment when the spotlight falls on you. Your sense of moderation alerts you to the fact that an excess of light for one person can soon become too little for someone else. You would rather hide your own light under a bushel than take it away from anyone else. You prefer to praise your fellow men than to be exposed to their praise.
~ Michael Vescoli
(The Celtic Tree Calendar: Your Tree Sign & You)
5.27.13 ~ Stonington, Connecticut

Well, all those things above do describe me well, not only am I overcome by embarrassment when a spotlight falls on me, I blush to a very bright red, which only adds to my distress. Oh how I love to keep a low profile and hang around in the background!  🙂 The things I am discovering by means of my elm tree!

22 thoughts on “filled with light”

  1. Sweet sweet entry this morning ! Yes Grandmother Elm has dressed herself lovely for this season, embracing the traveler in her cool waving breezes.
    “adjusting to expect the unexpected” how I understand that statement as well these days.
    Blessing on you and your family!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeff, for the compliment and the blessing! I think of you often and what you’re going through with your mom – it’s not easy dealing with all the unanticipated twists and turns that present themselves when we are caring for a loved one with a serious disease. Blessings to you, too, my friend!

        1. Indeed, we are! Just got back from visiting the heartfelt and honest post you wrote on your blog – you are an amazing son, more so than you will probably ever know!

  2. Don’t you just love those times when something happens in your life and you feel it is right? You were so drawn to Grandmother Elm when you first met her, and now you have discovered that she really is “your” tree. And doesn’t she look beautiful all dressed in green? I will have to order The Celtic Tree Calendar book and read more. I came across one tree sign website which says that my tree is a willow. Willows have a good memory and can surprise people with the information they retain. My nick-name in my family has often been “elephant”, (an elephant never forgets!), but I tell people that I carry around a load of useless information in my head! By the way, I’m alergic to labels as well. I wonder if that is a trait shared by both elms and willows? 🙂

    1. Oh, Joanne, when I returned to see Grandmother Elm in all her leafy splendor the sight of her took my breath away! Her energy must be so strong for her to draw me when she was just a bare trunk and branches, and my patience has been rewarded beyond what I could imagine.

      Elephants are amazing creatures – they remember their dead family members and often return to the spot where the death occurred and gently fondle the remaining bones. I sense the same tenderness from you when you are writing about your family.

      If I understand what I’ve read correctly, each tribe of Celts had their own, slightly different tree calendar. For the one in this book, your guardian tree is the poplar, the tree that overcomes uncertainty. On the calendar where you are a willow (like my daughter) I am a birch, another tree I’m drawn to. 🙂

  3. The notion of hiding your light, or sharing it with others is refreshing given all the modern proclamations that focus on the individual ego…”you are the center of the universe, you are the Light…etc. etc.” And how comforting is Grandmother Elm.

    1. There is a sense that we need to balance the shining of our own lights with giving space for others to shine theirs. To share the light… I need another comforting trip soon to see Grandmother Elm and absorb some of the light flowing from her branches…

  4. The Elm tree can teach so much. Since my birthday is July 20th, does that mean it’s my tree as well? Unfortunately, we don’t have any elms here. Most of them died in Michigan from Dutch Elm disease when I was a child. Sad to learn you have a cancer patient in the house–going to look at your other posts to see who might be sick.

    1. According to this tree calendar the elm is also your tree, Kathy. 🙂 I was always told there were no elm trees left because of Dutch elm disease, but apparently a rare few did survive. Now our local hemlock trees are currently being decimated by the woolly adelgid insect. The other day we saw a “Canadian hemlock” for sale in a nursery and we are wondering if there is a difference between American and Canadian hemlocks.

      Having a cancer patient in the house is a grim situation, but I have to say Tim’s brother has a sense of humor and is bound and determined to live his last days to the fullest. Three of his brothers live in Europe (Germany, England & Luxembourg) so after the wedding he is going to fly across the pond for two weeks to visit them. When he gets back his palliative care doctor is signing him up with hospice.

  5. Grandmother Elm is a gorgeous tree, and your images show her off well. I love that you’re learning from your tree. The Celtic Tree calender sounds interesting.

    We lost our elm trees (in Ohio) a few years back (Dutch Elm). I’m so glad I got to spend time with them as they taught me a thing or two, too. (I was going to leave you a link to my tribute to them on my Bountiful Healing blog, but you already saw — and commented on — it.

  6. Hi Barbara. How soothing to have a guardian tree. Mine is the ash. No ashes on our property but we used to have them near our first camp. There are still some elms here, along the river. Jane

Comments welcome...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.