Friday, October 23, 2015

Lady Tree Down

Trout Lake in Island Lake Recreation Area is a deep gravel pit. The land surrounding has few big trees, except on a ridge that separates Trout Lake from another lake, probably another pit with the immediate area scoured long ago. Towering over the other trees on the ridge was a dead tree I called the Lady Tree. It was a solitary majestic presence- could see it at great distance. I felt strongly the presence of my matriarchal ancestors at her feet, and I'd trudge up the wide path to share the views. A lake on either shoulder. When my best friend died in 2010, I'd lean against the Lady Tree and cry until I couldn't cry any more. I stopped walking at Island Lake when a couple of hunters came out of the bush next to me 3 years ago. You could see the Lady Tree from Kensington Rd., but the last year I haven't spotted her. Today I walked to find her. There's just a narrow path now and I walked slowly uphill. Fallen. Feels like a transition that I can accept at this point in my life. The ancestors and other women I loved have moved on. The tree is now habitat for other generations of living things. Feels like the natural order of life. Walking back to the parking lot, I thought about how nature and women are the same. I thought about man's ongoing efforts to control nature. And women. And I understood today that the unrelenting pursuit for control of nature and women's bodies won't succeed. Nature has her own plans.

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