Thursday, April 12, 2007

Far Flung Nuts....

Just goes to show you. Tigers and stripes and such. Don’t count your chickens. I committed to a topic yesterday while ideas were swirling and before I’d started writing and then, when the time came, WHAM…nothing.

Lesson learned. I can’t give myself the gift of a “no pressure” situation and then start turning the vise. Won’t work. Never has. So I chucked the edifying and interesting morning activity I’d been planning for months, loaded up Large Dog (LD), and headed out to the ranch. It’s one of those good spring mornings, sunny and cool in the shade and the promise of warmth in the sun. I’m on the cabin deck, in the dappled shade of a huge live oak, and I just finished my coffee. LD is snoring. So let’s try again.

My friend over at “Do You Realize…” (we’ll call her DYR) wrote a wonderful entry this week about her childhood in a beautiful part of the rural Deep South and her adult realization that her parents did and still do live in ways that are in direct opposition to her eco-conscious belief system. Writers know that – no matter how much we want to – we can’t control the directions in which our readers take our words. DYR, I spun far afield from your words, but I’ll try to bring it home at the end, ok? I’ll spare everyone all the intermediate steps I went through and all the possible metaphors I tried to muscle into submission, and get you where I am now.

Acorns never fall far from the tree? Yeah, right.

What happens when you end up over with the elms?

DYR is lucky. She at least started out at home with and in her family and leafed out later. Me? Sorry, no big drama, but I was the elm in the oaks from the start. I just thought differently. I loved and respected the oak grove, but I didn’t want to live there forever. These are the kinds of feelings that lead 12-year-old girls to subscribe to The Atlantic Monthly even though they live in Reader’s Digest houses. College, graduate school, heartbreaks, marriage into a very different kind of family…. each of these things took me farther away. It’s not fun to be bi-arboreal (humor me on the term, ok?) but it does get easier when you stop trying to feed the squirrels.

And the folks I call my friends? Lots of them are noticing that their leaves this spring are different. It could be an age-group thing, although that’s an awfully facile explanation. Maybe it’s just the kind of people I like (could the universe have plopped me down into a peer group titled “People Shipped to the Wrong Address at Birth”?). And these shifts, these sproutings from seeds borne aloft, are not always related to birth families. Saplings are seeking the sun away from marriages, jobs, and geographies they were never meant to inhabit.

And I do believe that makes for a healthy eco-system for us all.

This one didn’t turn out quite like I’d planned - a bit short, a lot surface - but this is all about no pressure, right? RIGHT? She mutters to herself, “Be an elm, be an elm, be all the way elm…”

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