The Tree That Stands

Image by Lars_Nissen from Pixabay

I cannot adult today. I’m not sure when being an adult became a verb, but it has, and I can’t do it. I can’t describe why I can’t adult today, not out loud.

I’m tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. All the tips and tricks I use to survive life are worn out. All my escapes aren’t an escape anymore. I can’t do this again; I can’t face another day like yesterday.

But I know I must, somehow. If I lose this war, then I lose myself.

I can’t look at my lighted lamp itself, its light is blinding. But I can look at what it illuminates. The tree surrounds itself with leaves for breath, roots for food, and bark for protection. Right now, I’m an old, withered tree, stripped of bark and leaf with roots that pull no nourishment.

Am I really? Trees don’t have muscle to flex, they live by standing fast. I close my eyes and see the mountains and the valleys of bark; places where it has built up and where it has worn down. Such a thin part of the tree protecting the living wood behind it.

I look for my bark, for my protection. The one thing that will not only allow me to survive today, but to thrive.

Behind me, my friend walks up and sits down, offering a thermos of steaming coffee. “Someday,” she says, “This will all be over, and you’ll be free.”

I have found my bark.


Author’s note:

I have a confession.

This story is something of an autobiography and exists because of four people I have in my life.  I woke up this morning beyond defeated. But Sean, Gala, Keridak, and Anna were my bark this morning. Thank you, you four. Other people may call you diamonds, but diamonds don’t cover things that grow. I’m glad you were bark for me today.