I’m in love with Shagbark Hickory trees. I see myself in their rough, hanging, falling pieces. Not ready for discard, yet falling nonetheless. Some strips falling and decomposing quickly, surrendering their riches to fertilize the hungry earth. Some bark hanging on longer, still with something to say, remaining vertical and visible until their voices are no longer heard by the forest.
Large long pieces, small, thick pieces stacked neatly, supporting their fellow Shagmates. Strips of wrinkled, worn roughness. Mazes of texture giving way to a newer, smoother, Auburn skin. Underneath. Beautiful colors beneath the Shagbark’s discards. Shaggy rough, scattered, haggard, unfinished, jagged, worn and edgy yet standing tall. Proudly facing the sun. Standing, reaping precipitation benefits. Reaching above it all, into the clarity, in the space we all seek, the space between our breath. Fresh oxygen lives above.
Shagbark gripping the earth below, grounding wide and deep. Solid. Fingers and toes long n scraggly, twisting and turning in the silent light and dark. Seeking, still, layers of life and death intermingling. Nutrients for the taking, earth’s gifts used and returned. Shedding pieces of our story, revealing a less burdened smoother version of ourselves ready for the next season of life.