Looking out the big window over my desk towards the hills beyond, it is apparent that this last storm to blow through with frigid winds has pretty much stripped most of the trees of their beautiful fall foliage. A few trees in the distance are still sporting some reds and oranges, but it's the green of the pine trees that are taking center stage now. For some this might be a sorry sight, only the skeleton of trees remaining after losing their crowing glory. For others, like me, it is a chance to see the trees through the eyes of my imagination.
I came across this quote from British poet William Blake while I was wondering what I would write about this week. As always, the right thing always presents itself exactly when I need it. I love when that happens:
"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the Man of Imagination, nature is imagination itself."
I do not see a sad, leafless thing outside my window. I see the exquisitely built robin's nest that housed a family, left vacant until next spring. I see the sturdy branches that still offer the passing blue jay or crow a place to rest on their journey. I see Nature taking her time of rest, sleeping beneath the roots, gathering her strength until she feels the pulse of new life flowing through her limbs. My writer's mind, which has always lived in the realm of imagination since I was a child, sees a tree that whispers the words to a whimsical story that wants to be written, one that lets nature tell the tale for a change instead of ego. This tree, and the ones down the block, and the ones up on the hill, all have a tale to tell if we simply let ourselves see through the eyes of our imaginations. Watching the seasons change from one to the other is proof enough that Nature is imagination itself.
One of the joys of having lived to this ripe old age is that one is free to reclaim that part of our childhoods that allowed our imaginations to run free. I hope that I will never see the day when the sight of a tree, in every season, does not move me to tears of joy.
And so it is.