Monday, April 18, 2005

She Left On A Jet Plane

Somewhere over the midwest.
Hello from home. On my flight back east, I had a connecting flight in Minneapolis. I have a love of Minnesota, mostly because my mom called it home years ago. It is there that I have friends and family and memories that warm my heart in the coldest of winters. My layover was about an hour so I took the opportunity to call a Minnesotan friend. It felt so strange to be there and not be visiting with someone I knew. Talking on the phone filled a little of that gap and afterwards, the gap was closed. I was sitting in the terminal waiting for the loading to begin when someone walked up to me and said, "Those are nice glasses." I looked up and couldn't believe my spectacled eyes... it was Jeanne, a Minnesotan transplant who works at my optometrist's office. So there, I wasn't so alone in Minnesota after all. What a small, small world it can be sometimes.

Let me backtrack a couple more days, to that day in Balboa Park, last Thursday to be exact. I'd been severely craving an afternoon in the sun, in the grass, in a wide open space. After hitting an In-N-Out drive-thru, Michael and I took our lunch-to-go to the park. Complete with a cooler of beer, a camp chair, a blanket, writing materials and a few hours to spare, we laid claim to a spectacular sunny spot on the lawn. I laid the blanket out just beyond the magnolia's shade and it became my outdoor office. Michael had a seat on the other side of the cooler and it became his writing niche. We were both there with pens in hands, soaking up suds and sun.

My cowgirl hat and the questionable restroom in the background.
My intent was to write correspondence, a task I enjoy nearly every day. My thoughts were drifting like the clouds over head, I couldn't maintain a flow of thought but I didn't mind too much. I scribbled one missive and put my postcards, writing papers, note cards and Sharpies away to devote time to the writing taking place in my head. I don't often allow myself to complete the sentences, thoughts, memories, and observations that find their way inside my mind. Sometimes my internal editor (a.k.a. The Bitch) nixxes the thought process and other times I just fail to maintain focus. More times than not, something or someone snatches my attention and the thought bubble over my head is burst.
On this day, I had questions. As I laid on my back, squinting at the sky, I had questions about the trees in my view. There were two trees that were nearly touching branch to branch. They were so different from each other yet I found both interesting to look at and consider. One was so lush, so green, so plump and full of fresh leaves. This tree's boughs offered secretive shelter inside and a carpet of shade beneath. In stark contrast, the tree beside it seemed like a skeleton with its bare branches, skinny, twiggy, nearly naked and so exposed. The shadows underneath it were vein-like, leaving squiggly lines on the grass. There was no lush canopy overhead. Looking up was like looking at an umbrella that was sheered in a strong wind storm. What did that tree have to offer in comparison to the tree standing boldly beside it? Did birds frequent one more than the other? Did children choose to climb one more often than the other? Did people look at one and say they'd like to have a tree just like it in their yard at home? Did one feel less significant, less pretty, less loved, less desireable, less worthy than the other? Which tree could I relate to the most? Which tree do most people relate to the most? Has anyone else noticed those trees besides me?


Anonymous Dave2 said...

I'm a Bonsai lover myself. Something about a tree you can hold in your hands appeals to me muchly. :-)

The beautiful Dogwood tree I blogged about (with photos!) just a week ago was cut down this morning, and I'm a little bit "tree-sad" today. It was a shock to drive by and see nothing but a stump. I'm told the poor thing was diseased, yet it's hard to think of something so beautiful as being "diseased." At least they waited until the flowers were out of bloom. :-(

April 19, 2005 2:37 AM  
Blogger Juli said...

I've never had a Bonsai but may consider getting one, soon. I love the idea of bringing the outdoors in.

I'm terribly sorry to hear about the Dogwood! You were wise to snap your photos when you did. That tree was enjoyed by at least two people.

April 19, 2005 9:39 AM  
Blogger Sharron said...

I love Maple trees myself. Maybe because you don't see tons of them out here.

BTW - I work about 4 blocks from where you snapped that picture of your hat. Small world indeed :)

April 19, 2005 7:39 PM  
Blogger Juli said...

Too bad I didn't know that Sharron. You could have had a beer break. :)

April 19, 2005 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smiled when I read the 1st paragraph :)

April 25, 2005 4:25 AM  

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