whether or not Your lips move

You speak to me

the time has come. February 6, 2010

Filed under: stories — Ash @ 12:37 pm
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The time has come. The time for stories.

Are they true stories? Yes. Although I wish some of them weren’t. You will probably wish they weren’t. But they are.

My story begins as a little sprout planted from the seeds of several other stories’ trunks and limbs. These stories are old, rough stories; some are twisted and some are hollow. Some are deep-rooted and weathered, dependable and sturdy. Most are somehow beautiful in their own ways. Others are better left alone in the deep, dark forest.

My story was planted in the soil of the desert. The desert I came to love. You might be surprised to find that anything can grow in a desert; truth is, some of the most durable plants grow in the desert. God knew I would have to be a resilient little tree, and thus counted me worthy of beginning in such a place.

I was quite the strong-willed little tender shoot. I challenged my parents constantly with my endless need for information, knowledge, and activity. I enjoyed directing others and being in charge. A “natural-born leader” and “possible prodigy” you could say. My loves became talking, teaching, and telling tales. So much potential.

Soon after another sprout joined our little grove, the storms came.

One storm came in the form of a teenage girl. I wish I knew what kind of forest her story came from. Whatever it was, it had whittled away at her humanity and conscience. She stole innocence from this seedling… crushed her at the very center.

Not long after, the hurricane came. The grove had seen it approaching for some time but could not weather it. The grove would be forever uprooted, never to be the same ever again. My story was ripped from the ground and transplanted. It would be years and years before I ever felt any sense of belonging or safety.

My story went through a couple of transplants in the early years. The new groves tended to me in the best ways possible. But there were younger plants that needed more attention, and so I often felt left to cultivate on my own. I often felt strange sensations I could not name. Over time I would come to learn they could be called loneliness, abandonment, and despair.

Yet another storm raged through the small, budding leaves of my story during this time. This predator would further ravage the already damaged stems of this small plant. Parts of the little tree were chopped to the root. But the little tree would not know the extent of the damage until much, much later. She would always remember but would hide them in the dark shade.

My young story had been thinned and dampened off. The small tree struggled for life itself every day, but most never knew. Little did I know, however… that the Master Gardener was coming to the rescue.

… to be continued …

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5 Responses to “the time has come.”

  1. Anne Says:

    Trees

    by Harry Behn

    Trees are the kindest things I know,
    They do no harm, they simply grow
    And spread a shade for sleepy cows,
    And gather birds among their bows.

    They give us fruit in leaves above,
    And wood to make our houses of,
    And leaves to burn on Halloween
    And in the Spring new buds of green.

    They are first when day’s begun
    To touch the beams of morning sun,
    They are the last to hold the light
    When evening changes into night.

    And when a moon floats on the sky
    They hum a drowsy lullaby
    Of sleepy children long ago…
    Trees are the kindest things I know.

    ~~

    This was a favorite poem I copied into a collection of drawings and writing from the 1st grade. While I agree that trees are wonderful living things, it is true that their roots can cause quite a bit of damage from underneath – deep in the earthy soil where, like memories left unchecked, can wreck havoc on a person’s life.

    Five years after the raging fire of divorce incinerated our grove, the girls and I were back in a house — a real home for a change, instead of apartments. We were literally “grandfathered in” to a new home. The Master Gardner saw fit to provide it as a place for growth.

    Outside the house, a frail sapling graced the rocky xeriscaped front lawn. The tree would have obvious difficulty bracing against the dust storms and high winds that frequent the desert year after year. It already showed evidence of growing with a distinct “bent” to one direction. So, I took a stake to it. I shoved the stake into the soil, hammering it deeply into the ground around the roots as best I could. I then hooked the protruding wires from the top of the stake around the flimsy trunk of the tree, which at that time was about an inch or two at the most, in circumference. With the constant barrage of annual winds, I knew it needed the extra support, but I had no idea exactly how many years it would take. After a few years I tried to remove the stake, but it didn’t take long for it to show evidence of leaning over again. Placing the stake back in the ground, I decided it would take however long it was going to take for the tree to gain enough strength to stand on its own.

    Over the years I watched the tree gain height and fullness, but the stake remained in place, providing support to the growing tree. It wasn’t a very pleasant looking stake – but at least it was painted green and appeared to be stable. The wires eventually tightened around the trunk as years were added to the tree’s inner life-ring.

    Eventually the wires attached to the stake were much too constricting around the trunk. Life was becoming complicated for the family within the house, and I neglected to remove the wires before indentations forced their way into the bark. The tree was huge!

    Towering towards the sky, the proud tree stood straight and tall upwards to 30 feet! The tree was more than well established, so I felt confident in removing the stake.

    I beamed at that former sapling as it stood with a circumference of almost 8 inches now! Without the support of the stake, it could withstand the ravages of weather on its own with no problem. But, the indentations will be there – forever.

    I beam with pride at each of my own little saplings, knowing how they struggled to grow into the fine godly young women they are. In spite of painful circumstances which left undeniable indentations upon their lives, they stand tall amidst the ravaging storms and with the Master Gardener’s touch, enrich the lives of others around them.

    by a.mone’atkins

    ~~

    Trees

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

    Joyce Kilmer

  2. Anne Says:

    Dearest Ashley,

    There’s a little baby inside of you
    helpless yet delightfully determined as if to say
    Show me the world!
    Teach me everything!
    Tell me about Jesus!
    if she had words she’d say
    I love you,
    Mommy and Daddy.

    There’s a little two-year old inside of you
    chattering and preachy
    I’ll show the world about Jesus!
    I’ll sing to the world about joy!
    I’ll live life to the fullest
    because you taught me to,
    Mommy and Daddy

    There’s a little toddler inside of you
    crying to the outside world
    Please see me,
    Please hear me,
    Please help me–
    where are you
    Mommy and Daddy?

    There’s a little elementary child inside of you
    praying to the Lord on High
    Please love me,
    Please save me,
    Please heal me,
    my
    Mommy, and Daddy.

    There’s a young adolescent girl inside of you
    screaming and wailing
    Please Protect me
    Please Hold me
    Please Hug me
    Please make the divorce go away
    Mommy and Daddy!

    There’s a young lady inside of you
    singing and dancing ~~
    Please enjoy me ~
    Please adore me ~
    Please value me ~
    Please don’t go away
    yet,
    Mommy and Daddy!

    There’s a young woman inside of you
    praising and worshiping
    Lord, how may I please you?
    Lord, how may I serve others?
    Lord, how may I love you more?
    Lord, please take care of
    Mommy and Daddy

    There’s a lovely young bride inside of you
    Smiling and dreaming
    Aaron, I love you
    Aaron, I need you
    Aaron, I want you
    God’s wonderful gift despite all the pain
    from
    Mommy and Daddy.

    There’s a little girl inside of you
    crying and grieving
    I am in pain
    I am in need
    Someone please help me!
    We’re still here for you, honey ~
    love from Mommy and Daddy

    There’s a mother inside of you
    Smiling and laughing
    At a child yet unborn
    Maybe already here ~
    A child who needs you
    A child who loves you
    A child who adores you
    Soon, very soon ~
    Mommy and Daddy.

    a.mone’ atkins
    7/9/09

  3. Ariah Fine Says:

    I’m not gonna join the share a poem thread, but I wanted to just say keep writing, I enjoyed this piece.

  4. Anne Atkins Says:

    [Abuse is like a mirror that shatters broken into a million pieces into many different directions — all of the emotions , negative behaviors and subsequent pain continue on to countless generations. Dr. Phil shared on today’s show that legacies can be both good and bad. While his father was a hard working man, he was a “terrible alcoholic”. Dr. Phil addresses the fact that it’s never too late to stop the vicious cycle of violence and pain. a.m. atkins]

    “How does your family’s emotional history affect the person you are today? Dr. Phil talks to three generations of women who fear that they are repeating a cycle of violence and pain.

    A Family Legacy

    Julie, 20, says that she grew up in an abusive home, as did her mother and grandmother. Her husband, John, says that he and Julie constantly fight, and that she even went to jail for domestic violence! Now she worries because their 10-month-old daughter, Jalie, has witnessed their blow ups.

    Can they learn to stop fighting in front of their child?

    Shattered Childhood

    Julie reveals that when she was a child, her mother left her father and entered a battered woman’s shelter. Her father vehemently denies the abuse. Georgia, Julie’s mother, says she’s concerned about her daughter’s explosive temper.

    “This is your family DNA. This is your emotional programming.”

    anne: Dr. Phil says you must mourn the loss from what should NOT have happened. It’s not too late! The cycle can be stopped, but it takes work — it starts with the decision to begin.

    As Ashley’s mom, to this day I continue to sort through the shattered pieces of surviving an abusive childhood. I am almost ready to go public with my story. However, emerging from the broken pieces of the mirror, I see a reflection of Ashley and now feel compelled to share how I inflicted pain upon her. As a single parent while raising her along with her two sisters, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was “set up” to perpetuate the role that was modeled to me years before.

    I’ve discovered several notes and a full-page letter written to me by Ashley when she was an adolescent about the emotional pain she was feeling at the time. I’d like to share it, and take some time to address her pain — years after the fact. I am so sorry that I did not take the time to respond back then. But, like Dr. Phil says, “it’s never too late”. I humbly await Ashley’s permission.


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