Purpose

The electric company came and cut down my favorite tree. I was mad at them and at my parents for agreeing. My dad took the wood, made boards from it on Pawpaw’s sawmill, and built me a desk.

Now I write on it. I study God on it. The tree and I both grew up on the Vachon place, on Island Creek. Surely the rains that soaked into its roots fed also our natural spring from which I drank. We weathered the same storms and watched the bulls fighting by the creek, so endlessly stubborn. Surely the birds sang to both of us. Surely this tree is as much my brother as the men who share my blood. Surely this tree which listens to the tapping of keys and scratching of pen knows me.

Still, walnut tree, I wish you were growing live there. Maybe I wish it for myself too. I wish to still be young, feet flat on grass, still undamaged and in original form. But we are both here now.

I didn’t know if God laughs or cries at all the ways we miss his presence until I let the desk collect dust for years, the same way my soul was doing. God’s finger came circling through on both of us, writing out – hahaha. Oh, what you are missing!

Neither wood nor flesh cannot resist rotting forever, though. This tree and I will not be here long, no matter how we endeavor to preserve. But we are both here now. Both living this current purpose which is simply to know to whom we belong. Just don’t let the dust settle again, God says. I long to write these things within you, not just on the surface.

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