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Alternatives For Healing

Sister Maple - Nature's Teacher

by Katina i. Makris, CCH, CIH

Snow and more snow, falling, swirling, dancing, driving. It wraps and bathes and soothes me in a downy peace. Today’s snowfall is one of the beauty - the steady, endless type, which creates a gauzy dream-like vapor in the world. It lulls me to a trance.

Sitting motionless at the window, warm tea cupped in my hands, I stare somnambulantly at the elegant bare limbed maple out back, its outward reaching fine grey arms gathering white sinewing lines of dressings.

My maple is so glorious. I love her in all seasons. Her delicate rose toned buds in spring hang like dainty morsels in the soft pliable light. At summer’s zenith my stately maple shimmers in a full dance of vibrant green glory, her star fanned leaves swishing gayly. By autumn’s turn, my ever changing woodland sister dons her most dazzling finery, a vibrant yellow costume cloaking often trembling branches, as the brisk Canadian blown winds draw her into a swaying ecstasy. As October crescendos, the geese honking in flight and the rodents gather acorns in a mass frenzy, there she weeps, my grand maple, orange stained leaves bathing the moss flecked lawn.

I stand beneath the maple, sensing her majesty. She whispers to me, a quiet voice for such a grand and knowing one, I think. Her skin is burnished in the amber full light. I study the delicate creases and random knot-like dimples traced upon the maple’s trunk. It is a marvel to follow the arching twisting reach of her beautiful tapered outer branches. And then I see IT. Hidden from initial view, but bold and blatant as can be; the horrid, blunt wound on my maple’s third trunk. The backside of this perfect maple suffered a catastrophic wound. Her third trunk and numerous upper limbs were severed in a brutal winter’s ice storm several years back. The scar marks the amputation.

I recall the gun-shot cracks peppering the stilted night air that bitter cold night. A heavy inch thick coat of ice cut off all power and warmth in our lives for ten days and nights. On the very first morning, after a sleepless, frigid night, I arose to discover my refined beauty, with a massive shattered fracture, her upper limbs split in half, dangling downward in a rag doll collapse. I shuddered, feeling a wincing heartbreak immediately shoot through my chest, witnessing the pathetic wound inflicted upon my patient guardian.

“Oh no!” I cried calling family members over to see the maple’s duress.

“At least it is only part of her that broke,” said my husband. “Some other trees were completely toppled.”

I guessed he was right, nodding silently at the patient maple. Maybe that is true for all of us, “only a part of us that broke.”

Here today, I study the maple once again, recovered in many ways. Her wound is scabbed over and less obtrusive each season, as the remaining healthy branches grow and meander, filling in some of the initially gauged out air space. My maple is ever poised, regal and knowing, standing so lovely, amid her spruce and hemlock neighbors.

The snowfall is lush and thigh high deep, buffeting all my surroundings. On and on it proceeds, painting the landscape in final shades of white and grey and muted evergreen. I feel suspended in these hours. Held captive in a reverence, detached from the hustle of downtown, the back and forth excursions to my son’s school, and oblivious to the electronic kingdom. I honor the peace, the solitude, the sleepy ticking of my kitchen clock. Here I sit, absorbed in snowy splendor, my maple and I watching over one another in everlasting care.

And, just like she, enduring the passage of time, the cycles of a lifetime, the wounds of tragedy, I stay rooted and proud. The older I grow and grander I become, I learn to accept the knots and scars I bear, as well as the beckoning beauty of life’s ever changing skies. Like the stately maple, I reach up and out into the world, expanding into my own fullness and strength whether it is autumn or spring. No matter the season my maple and I each offer a place of reflection. From her I learn to bend and endure, break and grow again. After all, isn’t that what life asks of us all; to let go, shed, restore and bloom anew, amid each challenge?

Bless you sister maple. You are a wise teacher.

Katina I. Makris, is an Intuitive Healer, Classical Homeopath and the author of “Out of the Woods, Healing Lyme disease, Body, Mind & Spirit”, Elite Books, 2011.



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