Safeheld in the tree that knows me….

(continued from previous post….)

I grew up amongst the two trees,
feeling the stirrings of them both.
The living tree was where I knew joy,  and a peaceable rest that sprung up
from feeling safe in the
easy just being.
I took refuge in these branches most often alone,  when stress and clamor didn’t steal
away the childlike yes it took to dwell there.
But when hot fever of shame sent my ego into storm,
I’d retreat to the thick branches of the knowing tree
where I’d take comfort in my narrative carefully written:
Who to side with – who was good.
And who or what to blame when feeling less than.

To figure it out,
so that I could feel justified and so at least safe
from the fear of judgement that came creeping
like a shadow in the dark,
lurking always when I felt undeserving of love and care.
And here in any shamestorm,  if I could play the right part hard enough,
I could get high on feeling  like I’d scrambled to a tower, lofty above the fray.
There were perks to dwelling in the tree that seemed to know,
like camaraderie among the approved.
We could be good together,
or against together,
or at least safe together in the camp of the upper-hand.
And even though as a child I had a soft spot for mystery,
it grew harder with every need to prove my right-standing,
to self-protect,
to know and be right.

Yeah I spent years driving nails into coffins
where I buried my wonder alive.

I broke up with the knowing tree years ago,
but I can slip,  and I do,
slip fast like an addict with just one sip.
I can be self-righteous
and I don’t want to live there anymore.
Where some god is propped behind a smoking curtain
while little men demand my attention to their booming bluster.
Especially in this season where the wizard behind the curtain seems to be
whipped into a frenzy,
and we’re called out as stupid if we don’t buy.
How dare I approach the great and powerful?

Well  I have a thing for this tree.
The living one.
This is where I want to spend myself.
On a love so safe that it’s shelter,
a knowing so wide that it’s wonderment
and a belonging so secure that I’m always and anywhere
with One who welcomes and wants me as I am.

And when the mad in me goes bitter,
when fear sends me scrambling for what I worry must be scarce,
when I feel somehow superior
or ashamed,
I can trace it back
to the fruit
I’ve been
Stupid tree.

help me settle like a child into the tree growing up
like a fountain from your heart.

And in places where I’ve drawn back like a stranger to love
because I’ve taken on some lies
and missed the affectionate twinkle
in the only eyes that get to tell me who I am,

may I remember it again
and again
and as many times as it takes:
don’t eat from the tree
made of eyes that can never see or know me.

Again choosing life in the living
while the wind rustles love songs from God.

“I have refused to live
locked in the orderly house
of reasons and proofs.
The world I live in and believe in
is wider than that.  And anyway,
what’s wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn’t believe what once or
twice I have seen.  I’ll just
tell you this:
only if there are angels in your head will you
ever,  possibly,  see one.”
– Mary Oliver

Congrats to Rebecca Lanning on the name-draw.
I’ll be sending out your bundle this week
with a whole lot of love!


  1. Elephants Child on October 10, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Thank you.
    As always.
    And I am very glad you have recovered from your infection.

    • jennifer on October 12, 2021 at 9:18 am

      I so very much appreciate your visit
      and taking the time to comment
      on this very personal post.
      Warms my cockles, it does:)
      Thanks and love, Sue,

  2. Mary on October 12, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Wow Jennifer. May we call it “Young Girl’s Heart, Wise Old Mind?”

    • jennifer on October 18, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      Ha:) And tired old body:)
      Thanks for coming by to visit; honored to have you read along.
      Always appreciate you,

  3. Susan Ferguson on October 12, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    I love how you always take me along on such wild, soaring adventures with you and especially when we get to hang out in special trees. Your writing has only become fuller and rounder and richer but still so tender and dreamy.

    Thank you for all the beautiful sharing that you do straight from your heart, it is felt and kept safe xo

    • jennifer on October 18, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      Those words are such a shot of B-12 to my tired old body, Susan.
      Thank you:)
      I needed a lift and your comment was just the thing.
      Thanks for adventuring with me:)
      Enjoy the full moon tonight,

  4. jeanie on October 14, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Jennifer,I admire so very much how you can rip your heart and soul open and share it with us, so boldly and bravely. Your words are powerful and I am grateful to be in your presence, even if miles and screens separate us.

    • jennifer on October 18, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      Gosh your words. Potent encouragement, those.
      Thank you.
      I am grateful for the connection blogging gave us
      even if I’m not a good blogger anymore:)
      I just don’t show up like I used to – season changed so wildly.
      It was a special introduction and I’m super grateful for the
      friendships that sprung up from all the sharing those days.
      Grateful much for you and yours, Jeanie:)
      Big joy to you,

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