Monday, December 14, 2015

The" Peck, Peck" Tree

I freely admit to being an outdoors woman. I live on my deck as long as weather makes it possible, and sometimes longer, adorn sandals until November and try to never miss a meteor shower or the first snowfall of the season. An eternal childlike wonder calls me towards the beach at sunset. Until recently, I mostly savored these gifts of the earth in a solitary state then Grace gifted me with a granddaughter.

My son and his family lived in a century old house which rested on a huge, treed property bounded by seas of ivy and a plethora of tiny forest creatures and birds. For the past two years, Lina and I have explored this fairylike habitat where everything is a newborn revelation. We charted the comings and goings of Mrs. Squirrel and Mr. Woodpecker, an occasional squeaky mouse and an armada of fireflies.

An ancient soul lies within this little girl. It has not forgotten that all is a mystery waiting to be discovered. I had been given a likeminded companion in my later years, someone who was as excited as I to go outside and look at the full moon on a crispy December night. A partner who loves the sound of crinkling, dry leaves under her feet and the slow, soothing motion of the yard swing's rhythmic accompaniment against a background of the pointillism of nature's autumnal brush.

A gnarled old tree stands in the middle of the massive front yard. It is Mr. Woodpecker's home and bears an odyssey of his lifetime foraging for the small insects who live, in symbiosis, there. Lina, one day on a trek by the tree discovered these many little holes and began to repeat "peck, peck" announcing her discovery of his many victorious foraging's. Lina had owned and named the tree with an eloquence bearing witness to the recognition and subsequent naming of the fox by Guy De Maupassant's Petit Prince. Homage now had to be daily bestowed upon the tree.
I hate change with the same passion that I love nature. In late November it became necessary for my son and his little family to move to a larger house nearby. A house with a similar lineage but without the palatial yard where Lina and I had been discovering and naming her world. I will admit that I was grieving it's loss and the change it would have on my daily experiences with Lina. The naissance of a new relationship was encased within that property. As moving day approached we visited all our treasured haunts and creatures. Of course childhood protects little one's from the nostalgia of the adult world but I was experiencing separation anxiety. On moving day Lina and I ventured outside acting as sentries observing the moving process. Our last vigil was by the "Peck, Peck Tree". She showed her teddy bear "Pete" a few choice pecking holes and demanded that I do the same for my Bear "Panda" who has become Pete's companion. My heart was breaking at the impending loss of our palace, her ancient heart opened wide with childhood's miraculous marveling. Together we will find new wonders to cherish and explore.