I have officially been done with school for the summer for two whole days now…two days of no homework, not driving 45 minutes each way to school, or rushing home to make dinner and make sure the girls don’t sneak into bed without a bath. So what do people who aren’t in nursing school do? I had forgotten so I went to Tractor Supply…unsupervised. I went there for rabbit food and came home with everything I need to have to get chickens and a pruning saw. Have you ever seen those? They have two rows of teeth going in opposite directions and are bad mothers. I pruned five pine trees, who have been badly neglected for years and years before we ever moved here. Everywhere that I had to go today I showed up smelling of pine like I was wearing an air freshener like Flavor Flav wears a time peace. I have also been shaking saw dust and pine needles out of my hair all evening. Apparently this is what nursing students on the outs do…they turn into giant pine trees.
I will be sure to add some pictures of my hard work as soon as it’s all done, but I’m way too OCD to show anything like that half done. I mean I could be like “Hey guys check out this tree that is awesomely pruned next to that tree that looks like crap.” I also have about six huge piles of tree limbs and vines that need to be burned. My awesome but controlling husband refuses to let me move the piles into a circle and light them all at once and play creepy music, making our neighbors think we’re a witch coven. I still have my witch costume from two Halloween’s ago, so it seems like it’s meant to be.
Anyway I have a ton of other outside plans that I want to get finished before school starts again in the fall, which means I should stay motivated for another three days or so.
Sawing the life out of these trees reminded me of a paper that I wrote for an English class this winter about…trees. It’s like you’re psychic.
So without further ado… (And, if you’re a nerd like I am, check out the link imbedded in the words, “without further ado”).
I Stood Strong
Despite my massive size and strong roots in this community, I have my fears. I am older than anyone I know. All of my friends are gone and the wrinkles that cover me from top to bottom shows that I have seen my fair share of life. I have experienced many seasons as I have stood watch.
In winter the cold, sharp winds were bitter and harsh, and felt like bee stings that never stop. I felt the deep numbing cold as the frost worked its way up me. Snow piled at my feet, and wicked chills ran up my sides. Winter is deafening. The howls of cold wind echo louder and louder the longer it goes on. Winters are cruel and detached, so I offered to give the less-fortunate a home. Not everyone is as strong and tall as I am. So those who came to me, these small, delicate souls, I kept them safe and warm. I stood watch for them through the bitter, bitter cold. I have always stood strong.
As winter finally wore off, spring always came to make me feel awake. Snow melted and became a refreshing, nourishing, clean drink of water. When I drank the water up I could feel it awaken me from the inside. Spring has a way of awakening everything. Spring replaces the painful howl of winter with a warming song. Birds chirping, children playing, frogs croaking, and lawnmowers humming off in the distance overlap and dance with each other like the chords in an orchestra. Scents of sweet flowers skip on top of the breeze that has replaced the painful winter wind. I love to bury my feet deep into the ground as it warms up. I do that while I stand here at watch. I have always stood strong.
Spring distanced itself even further from the painful winter as it morphed into summer. A deep breath of summer smelled of fresh cut grass and felt warm from the sun. Even the nights were warm from the gift the summer sun left behind. With warm summer days and nights come summer thunder storms. They frighten and amaze me at the same time. Huge flashes of lightning bolted from the sky and lit night like day. Thunder struck the ground and shook the earth. Its loud crash echoed deep and vibrated me to my core. No matter the threat, I offered shelter to others as I stood strong. I have always stood strong.
Just as spring woke me up, autumn seemed to make me want to fall asleep. Hot brutal weather of summer calmed to cool days and chilly nights. Dark green and vibrant bright hues of summer have also calmed to softer browns, oranges, and yellow. There wasn’t a smell of grass anymore; just the smell of earthy leaves and dirt filled the air. The air grew colder and colder again until I could feel frost nipping at my feet again. Despite the frost building, I stand strong here. I have always stood strong.
Autumn falls to winter again and I can feel that this will be my last. I am going to die. I have many more years that I could live, but this is my time. I will no longer stand strong, but I will warm the home of a family. A man about six feet tall wearing brown Carhart overalls and an orange knit hat holds a chainsaw in one hand and rips back the ripcord with the other. Gasoline fumes waft through the air and the chainsaw growls to life. I can smell the familiar smell of sawdust as the wood chips fall to the ground. I begin to lose my sense of hearing that once heard birds, children, frogs, and mowers. My sense of taste that tasted that cool water fades. The man cuts half way through me and I can no longer smell my own woodchips or the smell of gasoline. He cuts all the way though me and I close my eyes and fall. I can feel no more. I may have fallen, but I know that I once stood strong.