Roger’s Tree, Geneva, Ohio.
When my husband Roger transitioned from this life, his cousins Dean and Ruth gifted the family a baby blue spruce. On Saturday, 34 years later, I got to stand beneath it, hold its living needles, smell it’s piney fragrance. The tree is at least 20 feet tall, healthy and beautiful, and I was moved to tears to stand within its Grace.
My son and I had traveled to Ohio to attend the memorial services of his grandpa, my father-in-law, Roger’s father, who had the good fortune to live surrounded by his big, loving family 96 years. I had never seen this photo of our wedding dance at Diamond Jim’s lodge in Estes Park, Colorado, circa 1981, and was so grateful to travel back home to Colorado with it.
If you’d like to dance along with “our song”, this indelible, crazy memory – please do – and let your heart be light …
Thirty seven years later, I was overcome with emotion as I walked up close, the last afternoon we were there,
to stand beside Roger’s tree.
The family home is there to the west of his tree,
and Roger and I’s son, Gabriel Thomas, in front of it, below.
Beneath and near his fathers’ beautiful tree…
which must be around two and a half feet in diameter …
… I was filled with an overwhelming awe, a wave of sadness, a gratitude welling up from within – feeling somehow safe – to be, and feel surrounded by the branches of the huge pine, Roger’s tree with very nearly arms, extended out around me.
Roger’s body was overtaken by cancer when he was just thirty years old.
He dearly loved the mountains of Colorado, and would leap up them like a mountain goat, undaunted by altitude, terrain or weather. The blue spruce was a perfect choice to represent his wild spirit. I can imagine winter winds tossing and swaying its limbs, or falling snow creating symmetrical designs, spiraling into the very top. Summer sun warming and throwing off that incredible fragrance. I can see birds choosing this tree to alight on, sing and call out from high branches, nestle near the wide trunk during storms. Squirrels and chipmunks skittering up, down and around it’s vertical pathways.
When I stood at the base of Roger’s tree, a sense of the scope of our lives, the contracts we had made, our choices to live and leave this planet as part of a grand design – shifted in perspective. Absorbed in a fuller, beyond words, untranslatable way. I felt a truth about the vastness of our spirits, Roger’s spirit, a vibrant energy amidst growth forever in both worlds – deep within my heart.
And my body reverberated in this expansion.
I left Geneva, Ohio the next day, full to the brim with memories of the weekend, all the gathered family and conversations and far flung range of emotions, as well as
most unexpectedly and completely
with a massive blue spruce on a lovely piece of land just a little bit south of town.