Questions for a Tree’s Last Day

 

Or: Musings on Life and Death…

This is literally the fruit of my immediate reflections on witnessing a perfectly strong, healthy tree, being cut down. 

 

Fresh, raw, splintered wood

Filling the air with your fragrance

The sweet, sickening smell

Of life, dying.

–Of dying, only? Or of offering?

And if you did not choose this

If no one asked you

for this sacrifice of your life

Your supple, smooth, seamless

Stretching of green-covered,

Life-covered branches,

Now reduced to fractured

Pieces…

If, rather, it was taken,

Without your permission

Can this yet be called

Your offering?

Your giving of yourself

For the heat,

The life

Of the world?

 

And you, small creature,

Crushed in the jaws of one bigger than you

More powerful than you

Filling the air with the cry

Of young life, being ended.

–Ended, only? Or given?

And if no one asked you

For this giving of your life

Your wild, warm, wonderful

Fullness of life and

Passion for living,

Now lying still upon

The ground…

If, rather, it was taken,

Without your will,

Can this yet be called

Your offering?

Your giving of yourself

For the food,

The life

Of the world?

 

And when I feel overcome

By the burden of days

When the things I love

are stripped from me

in small, daily dyings

–Is it a stripping, only? Or an invitation?

To give, freely,

What is being taken?

If I did not choose this,

If no one asked me

For this sacrifice of my life,

This handing over,

In painful surrender

Of hopes and dreams and

Desires…

Can I still give,

What is taken?

And make myself

An offering?

A giving of myself,

For the good,

For the life

Of the world?

 

And if we can,

Perhaps,

Is it because

All things

Have already been offered?

One has already given away

The life of the whole world

In His own offering

Of Himself to the Father:

 

Transforming all sacrifices

Perhaps,

Into offerings,

And all deaths

Into new life.

 

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