I first met her a few years ago. It wasn’t a planned meeting, rather a synchronistic passing due to some difficulty in finding a parking place. Walking a few blocks on a cool spring day is a chance to stretch the legs, breathe in some Colorado air, and feel the sunshine on my face. The birds are out providing the music. The squirrels are chattin’ it up as if they’re the only two around! The world seemed just fine that day.
As I strolled towards Pasquini’s I began to ponder the menu filled with such delicious choices. God is part Italian, I think. No one cooks like they cook. It is divine. My imaginations about the choice between pasta and Stromboli were getting the better of me when I was approaching her. For some reason, I slowed way down and just looked up. There she was adorned in every shade of green imaginable. Beautiful, indeed! Wondrous, yes! She is thirty feet tall of grandeur. She was and is home to many a critter and bearer of tales from bird, animal, and human alike. All are welcome in her shade, upon her limbs, and within her presence. Ahh, what a treat on my way to “my” Italian get away.
I’ve seen her several times since. I enjoy her covering during the summer’s heat. I bow deeply at her majestic display during autumn. There are none as radiant as she. The myriad of colors is breathtaking. Several folks every day are simply stopped, smitten, and sent on their way during the fall.
I saw her again recently. I was sad in my lack of wisdom. I felt empty in her stark presence due to my lack of vision. I felt sorry for her but not as much as she felt for me. You see, I thought, I can hardly write these words…I thought she was ugly. I saw that she had lost her beauty, her vibrancy.
As I left her standing there all kinds of things came to me and over me. I simply cannot share these with you now. These things I will share, the rest is between me and the creator.
What I saw was in part how I perceive the winter of my own life. There, I said it. What I saw in her was bareness, the “best days of her life were past,” your beauty was long gone. Ugh.
Today, I visit her often. I do it in secret. I kiss her, hug her, and cry upon her but most of all, I thank her. I thank her from deep within my soul. She is companion now, beautiful all year around. She is marked with the passage of time unable to show life fully without the years embrace. She is wisdom, insight, and profoundly treasured gift. There she stands, planted firmly, sharing the grace of an all-embracing life.
It is winter. It is never too late to experience, learn, and live.
Scott Jenkins is a Founding Director of Celtic Way
Read more about him here