Roots and Branches

The empty room echos my footsteps as I walk to the window. It was only recently emptied, and the freshness of the space bears an unaccustomed presence. It’s not only unfamiliar, it’s uncomfortable.

Curtains frame the window from ceiling to floor in a stately manner. Outside the window are trees, some of them large and old. Their branches reach, strong and majestic, nearly touching the nighttime sky. They shine silver with reflections of moonlight. The roots are deep and strong. They confide a stability and longevity that reflects the river of several generations of inhabitants not only of the room and the house, but also of the vicinity.

The trees, as trees go, were not always this way. We planted them from saplings when they were smaller than one’s finger. They have grown as we have grown. They do not weep, nor do they bend, under the burden of grief and sorrow. They continue without encumbrance. They have prospered with our care and attention. We have taken refuge in their stability.

Emptying the room of its contents has stirred the spirits that dwelt there. It seems that they have no objects to cling to, they are now free to move about untethered. Their walls and masks have been removed. They are shifting into positions that will rest in peacefulness, but they are not yet peaceful. They need understanding and patience in order to settle.

The room will know new inhabitants. The trees will know changing seasons. And, as with all things, we shall pass from this space.

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