Written by Cristina Ruscica, January 12, 2021
There is always opportunity to see the glimmer of light that radiates beneath any debris. The messiness that was left behind from the fallen thoughts, beliefs, or interpretations that once clouded our view. When we stand still and begin to see through the lens of our soul, life speaks to us in ways that our ears are not able to hear. Sometimes, the noise around us is so loud that it mutes the underlying voice that is nestled deep within. The noises caused by worry, hurt and even fear. These are the stories we create that stand before us as truth. Beyond this, sitting quietly and patiently waiting, is the voice of our heart. The voice that holds all wisdom. It answers all calls and understands this life on a level that we have misunderstood for so long. This voice reminds us of all things real, as it brings us back to remembering.
A couple years after moving into my new home sixteen years ago, I planted a young Eastern Redbud tree in my backyard. I was an amateur with respect to having any knowledge or skill regarding simple gardening, let alone, knowing how to nurture a newly planted sprig of a tree. I knew enough to dig a hole, plant the roots and give it water. My Redbud was very young, reaching no more than a foot off the ground when I planted her in her freshly dug soil.
About a month or two into nurturing my new growth, I noticed that she was beginning to wilt. It wasn’t long after that her young and thin trunk was dry and her branches fragile and breaking. It became obvious that she no longer had life within her. Despite my observation, I left her planted in the ground and continued to feed her water with the hopes she would somehow find her way back to the light. To my disappointment, she did not. Her life was gone, her branches empty and breaking. I knew it was time to let her go.
“It is within the synchronicities in life
that shows us the perfection
that surrounds us.”
As with anything in this life, synchronicity is always in motion. For many of us, this goes unseen as we would rather hold onto the concept of coincidence. That somehow, there is this thing called luck to explain the ways events correlate together. This concept is our own deception. It pulls us away from seeing deeper, understanding more, and connecting with who we truly are. It is within the synchronicities in life that shows us the perfection that surrounds us. Perhaps giving us trust in knowing that every moment of time, is filled with precision that takes us to a higher altitude of understanding. It is within this understanding that builds our own self-awareness, enabling us to carve out a pathway we walk on with ease.
During the time that my Redbud perished, was the same time my ex-husband and I were going through our separation. It was a dark time for us, as well as our children. I was at one of my lowest points in my life as I hit a wall of complete despair leaving me with a deep void in my heart. I remember the days I spent in tears, feeling completely discouraged and hopeless. I questioned everything, as my trust and faith wilted, just as my Redbud had shown me to do. So much felt as though it crumbled around me. My young tree’s empty branches solidified these feelings. The ending of my marriage, as well as the ending of her life. The death of my tree, or the death of my spirit that had succumbed upon the separation of my family.
I prepared myself with my garden gloves and took my shovel to the ground. She was weak and fragile, much like my heart at that time. It was almost effortless pulling her depleted and dry roots out of the soil as they held no strength and no resistance. I disposed of her and filled the empty hole in the ground with loose soil. I planted grass seed over top and left it at that. This was not the time to try planting another tree. My motivation had been lost. I felt as though life was pulled out from me as my marriage came to an end and I was not in a place at that time to try to recover by replanting another tree. I allowed myself to wallow in the trenches and feel the despair. Perhaps it just simply was not meant to be. My marriage, or my Redbud. Both of which lay a hole, once filled with life and now stood hollow.
As the winter cold dissipated and spring was upon us, I remember looking outside and feeling a sense of inspiration realizing the ways new growth all around was emerging. I remember thinking back then, that seasons change, with precision, with predictability and undeniable knowing. It dawned on me that things change, and that this is inevitable. No one thing is ever meant to remain as it is at all times. Even though this may seem like one thing is ending, there is always something else beginning. This is always the case, even if it doesn’t feel this way at the time.
I then noticed something even more profound. It was in that moment that life spoke to me in a way that was so deep and so clear, there was no denying the message it gave me.
“She found a way to anchor herself
in solid ground beneath,
and this was enough for her to
find her life once again.”
As I was in my backyard, cleaning up the debris left by the winter’s trail, standing before me was a sight that brought tears to my eyes and a lift in my heart. It was my Redbud. She had found a way to poke herself through the soil, making her way to light. Even though I had dug her out, pulling her from her roots, filling the empty hole and covering the surface with seed, she found a way. There was life left in her. It was hidden underneath her depleted and dry frame. However minuscule, however unknown or unseen to my eyes, there was life that lay beneath the surface. She waited patiently for the seasons to change and for the perfect conditions, so she could find her way back. Although she was tiny and so young, she sprouted to what soon became her trunk, her support, her vessel for growth. She found a way to anchor herself in solid ground beneath, and this was enough for her to find her life once again.
My Redbud has become my tree of hope. She taught me a powerful lesson, that lesson being that there is always hope. No matter how bleak, helpless or dark we may find ourselves feeling, there is always life buried underneath it all. We are in our seasons and it is just a matter of patiently waiting for our time to spring above ground. All we have to do is anchor ourselves, just as my Redbud did with what little roots were left of her. She anchored herself to solid ground. This was enough.
Today, my Redbud stands tall and strong. I have spent many hours sitting underneath her, meditating and using her energy to fill me. She stands outside my bedroom window where I am greeted by her extended branches that act as my reminder each day to always remember. She reminds me that although something may appear bleak, lifeless and still, there is always enough within to grab hold of something far stronger and real, than anything else seen on the surface. She reminds me to listen to the quiet whispers within my own heart, as this is the solid soil beneath that will nourish me with all I need to thrive. And that even among the debris, the ground that covers, there is always light, bright enough for me to see, that will lead me the way.