healing after the ice storm

magnolia_leafSo mid week last week the temps had fallen into the mid-20s or so and with a mist of rain in the air during the night, ice formed on pretty much everything outside. Here are some pics from my backyard. My magnolia tree shouldn’t look like this in March.

On the drive to work that morning, I noticed a lot of tree branches had snapped and fallen during the night. Not sure if they were already dead branches or if the weight of the ice caused them to break or both but there was a trail of pretty big branches that started with a neighbor’s house a couple of houses down and just kept going almost all the way to work 15 miles away. It was strange. Some of those branches were pretty big and yet they snapped because of the heaviness.

magnolia_branchesSo all this happened on Tuesday and on Saturday I was finally able to help my neighbor out by cutting the really big tree limb that had fallen in her yard.

After cutting it, we talked for a while as I gathered the pieces and set them out at the curb. I haven’t seen her in what seems like a pretty long while and I learned why. She’s having it pretty rough with her job. So rough that the stress has made her physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ill. I feel really terrible for her. She’s had to see a psychiatrist for it and the doc diagnosed her with agoraphobia. Her ash_tree2doctor gave her a letter so she could use the Family Medical Leave Act to take a leave of absence from work so she can heal. It’s been almost a month though and she was so damaged by the stresses at her job there is very little healing that I can see. She doesn’t really seem the same. She’s different. She snapped from the heaviness at work and her old self seems frozen from the experience.

I tried to lighten her mood and attempted to be positive. I tried to commiserate and say things like “I know what you mean” or “I can definitely relate” but of course I can’t. I have no clue what she’s going through but still I tried and told a somewhat comparable story from my past.

Later that afternoon I turned to my own trees in my backyard and started trimming some of the branches. I’ll get to the one in the front yard soon as well. What I’ve noticed with some of our bushes, plants and trees is that most of the time when I’ve trimmed them back and removed parts of them that they become healthier. They seem to flourish.

It’s hard to cut things back.

It’s hard to let go of a part of yourself. Cut off part of yourself. Maybe The Universe sends an ice storm now and again to help along in getting rid of those parts that are dead or hindering our ability to flourish.

I’m in an ice storm right now. I think there are parts that are about to freeze off… parts that will be cauterized. I suppose we all have our ice storms we’ve been through or are going through. If you’re lucky, you have help in picking up the pieces and putting them to the curb. If you’re lucky you have help flourishing again.

I hope my neighbor gets through her ice storm ok. I hope I do. I’m sure we will. That is called Faith. I trust that God’s messengers… our guardian angels, if that’s more palatable to you, will help us through.

ash_tree1

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