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Post: Blog2_Post

Restoryative blog:

Writing myself whole

Image by Gabriel Crismariu

Pining For Myself

I step into the cool shadows cast by a cluster of towering pine trees, the entrance to Ponderosa State Park and an ancient forest. The smell of wet pine surrounds me, while the chill makes the hair on my arms stand on end. I meander back and forth along the black paved path, listening to the scuff of my shoes, caressing the coarse bark with my fingertips, catching a teardrop of sap, searching for wisdom in the long-lived lives of the wood. The trunks rise skyward one hundred and fifty feet to wispy branched peaks, mighty wings lifting the timber higher. I wander off the path and into the presence of a particularly compelling pine to have a conversation.

Standing on a carpet of her matted pine needles, I wrap my arms around the width of her trunk, my fingers several inches from touching. Her girth indicates she has been here a while, expanding annually. A few smooth white scars stand out against the shades of brown and uneven texture of her exterior. Branches protrude from her abdomen, some long and shaggy and others short and sharp, fractured before reaching their true size. In some places, branches are missing, broken close to her body. Time and weather have fragmented her, yet she still stands. I observe her fullness from grounded roots to lofty cloud-skimming brow.

I take a step towards her gently laying a hand on her rugged skin. Leaning in, smelling her earthy sweat, I whisper, “It’s my birthday.” I rest my forehead against her, and ask, “Every year you add a ring of growth, another layer of yourself, do you know who you are under those layers? Do you remember yo