Day 16 – Tree of Life

December 25, 2014

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

In the 1990’s, I reconnected after many years with an old Palestinian friend, Salim. He came to my house and not only gave me the gift of his visit and friendship, but also the tree of life on an Armenian tile, which hangs in my kitchen. Sixteen days ago, my husband David gave me the tree of life, created from one piece of silver wire with bends and twists.

We did not put up a Christmas tree this year but at the last moment, I decided to add a few holiday ornaments to this silver tree. This morning it holds an antique glass ornament from my late grandmother, and handmade ornaments made by my mother, daughters Lauren and FL, a former student and my late great Aunt Leona. It also displays a delicate snowflake just sent from my longtime friend, Marge Schondebare, which, according to her note, is a reminder of my uniqueness. My new silver tree holds history, love and hope.

The symbolic tree of life represents balance, change, cycles, interconnectedness, giving and receiving.

Balance: What is invisible below is as important as what is visible on top. If the roots beneath the soil are not healthy, then the rest of the tree will die.

Change and cycles: The tree changes from green to rusty orange and then to bare...and back again. Cycles continue. The brittle brown leaves fall and become part of the soil which nourishes the roots and new green shoots appear in the spring. My father passed away 23 days ago. He created many roots which are still nourished by the love he gave to us, the love that continues.

Interconnectedness, giving and receiving: We are all part of the tree of life. We breathe the oxygen it provides.  We benefit from its filtering of harmful pollutants, its shade, its role in preventing soil erosion, its offering of food and protection to wildlife. We receive beauty and inspiration from our tree of life.

We can reject its gift and spiritually die or we can embrace it and celebrate. I celebrate life and its possibilities for forgiveness and love, for joy and connecting.

Today’s gift is the tree of life.


> DAY 17 Coltrane's "Equinox"

You can read my other posts on this project here:

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