Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Word

"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."
Joyce Kilmer, 1914

I have tried, for days to UN-choose the word TREE as my word of the year.
It seems that TREE has chosen me.
I can't get enough of them. Of looking at them. Wondering about them. Marveling. I love this time of year when the branches are bare. When I can see the outstretched limbs...the strength of the trunk. The delicate, intricate, interdependent branches. It is in this state that a tree seems most alive to me. Like it's doing all it's hard work now. Quietly. Underground, behind the scenes....because that's just what it does.

Yes, TREE has chosen me.
It's not a very active word. I kept thinking I could go with something like "rooted" or "branch out" or "reach" ... but none of those words said it all. 

I want to learn from the TREES
I want to nourish my roots. Nourish the deepest, most essential parts of myself.
Spiritually, emotionally and physically.
I want to go out on some limbs.
I want to bloom where I'm planted.
I want to weather the seasons. 
I want to provide a nesting place for those I love.
I want to bend without breaking.
I want to learn from the TREES.

As I stood in my dining room this morning, watching the beginning of our nor'easter out the back windows, I was delighted to watch the branches begin to collect the falling snow. Each tiny limb collecting their share. Such a pretty sight. As I stood, I was still wondering if I could actually put it out there...share with one and all....that my "word" was TREE. I mean, what would people think?!! I knew that TREES were choosing me, but I felt shy to admit such a thing.

And then I saw this.

To me, it was a sign. A gift. I've wanted to see a cardinal in the snow out my back window for a while - didn't see one at all last winter...and now here he was. He choose my TREE if to validate my choice. And so it is.

My guiding word for this year will be the one that choose me. 


  1. Deep. I love this, and it never would have occurred to me to pick a noun. Yet, I'm enamored. We certainly can learn from creation. I believe God uses His creation as parables for life. I'm challenged and inspired by your word. Looking forward to seeing you be well watered this year.

  2. Deep! Like roots! In Judaism a tree is a major metaphor. The torah is compared to a tree - we say "it's a tree of life who hold fast to it" - I love the imagery of a tree! Hope you grow like a tree in many ways this year!

  3. I'm loving the processing of the first tree image, a lovely colour cast.
    Wish you well in 2014

  4. WoW he picked a great spot in an awesome tree!! You captured him beautifully!! I can always feel your excitement and joy in your wonderfully composed words!!

  5. Incredible! Lovely seems to choose you too!

  6. I was aleady enjoying this post...and then when I got to the cardinal photo, my breath caught in my throat! How gorgeous. I think "tree" is a wonderful word for the year.
    (By the way, my MIL won an Arbor Day award several years ago. MM and I accompanied her and Pop to Nebraska City for the awards banquet. Amazing....)

  7. Adrienne...This.Is.Beautiful. Seriously I think it is one of my all time favorite posts of yours. I know how the process can go choosing a word...mine is "embrace" for 2014. I think it's wonderful that you weren't shaken from that deep knowing that "tree" is the one for you. The fact that God sent a lovely red cardinal is just the perfect touch.
    I shared with you in my last comment about the soul stirring response I get while watching trees. So I am extra excited to hear how your word shapes you this year!
    {I especially like the part where you notice "each tiny limb is collecting their share" of snow. Isn't that just what we are supposed to do? Not hold the whole world but hold our share up?}

  8. Gorgeous photo! I love that your word is TREE and that you are embracing it whole heartedly. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

  9. I mean how many weeks can I continue featuring you in my "workshop favorites" section?? Do you ever write anything BAD? This is so lovely, the photos are amazing and your word is so outside the box, but somehow you still made it work. Perfection!

  10. I love how you are allowing the word to choose you! Your words are just so lovely! Thank you for linking up with us at Project: Underblog

  11. I agree with Christina. In a link up that I host, I chose something that other day that I kept trying to unchoose. And then I realized it was choosing me. Besides that, this post was so beautifully and eloquently written. I would never have thought of TREE and now I'm jealous I didn't.

  12. I absolutely love this. I also love trees, birds, and believers in nature's signs.