Two Sunday mornings ago when the rain finally stopped, I ventured outside. Fallen branches greeted me, a bit embarrassed to be on the grass.
That’s because three Tuesdays ago a fierce Westerly Wind roared over the water, ripped past our town, raged up the hill, right through and around MacMurtree the tree. Try as Mac might to be flexible, the Wind won the wrestle, ripping off branches that crashed to the ground.
And nearby those branches, all over the yard, I found pinecones. Knocked loose from their limbs, still tightly coiled and sealed in sweet sap.
I felt sorrow to see them sprawled on the lawn because I remember last summer, how I sat on my picnic blanket, witnessing dainty gold-dusted fairy seeds fluttering free.
I herded the pinecones into a pile. They didn’t know what to do next, stunned anxious at their unexpected separation.
“How are we supposed to seed forests?” they cried, rolling around on the ground in dismay. “We’re supposed to stay on our limbs and open up slowly. We’re not ready for this!!”
“I don’t know,” I replied, feeling their angst.“Come up on the porch. Come sit with me and we’ll figure it out.”
While they gathered themselves and their thoughts, I ran inside and brought back a book. I thought they could use some encouraging words.
“I know you’re not where you thought you should be. That means your Plans must become entirely new. You’re gonna need Courage for that!”
The pinecones lined up to listen, and we all wondered what words might spill forth from the pages to bolster their spirits.
I fluttered pages at random to see what the old book hoped these friends might find out. A bird pulled up a fencepost to listen.
“Give us, O give us, the person who sings at her work. I found words by Thomas Carlyle. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst marching to music.”
The bird whistled Yes!
“What song might you hear in your heart?” I asked the pinecones.
“Lollipop, lollipop!” one pinecone piped up after the briefest of pause.
“We are the Champions my friends” sang another with lyrics.
After the singing slowed down I read further down on the page.
“No pinecone is born into this world, whose work is not born with her.”
“Like the tree seeds within me!” said this pinecone who then sat up straighter.
I sat up straighter, too, realizing that Book’s favorite words in her pages weren’t all that these pinecones needed to know.
“Do any of you remember the wonder of where you come from?” I asked the dear lovely tree seeds.
“We come from our mother, MacMurtree, a Deodar Cedar. She’s at least a century old, probably more,” said the eldest pinecone.
“We each belong to the Deodar family. In Sanskrit that’s devadāru, which means wood of the Gods.”
“Why that means me! Daughter of the tree gods. Oh my! I better get up!” this one said out loud to herself.
“Imagine the many trees waiting inside us!” said that one out loud.“There must be a way to get our Possibilities into the world.”
“I have an idea,” I said.“I have friends all over the planet. What if I put you each in a box and ask the Mail to take you someplace new? That will be like the Wind carrying your seeds, except this time you get to go along and see where they land. You’ll meet the most amazing people!”
“You can ask them to bring me inside where it’s warm,” said one pinecone.
“And put me on a table by a window so I can see where I am,” said another.
“I would enjoy spending the holidays with a family,” added that one.
“And,” I said,“as their fireplaces heat up their homes, your wings will unwind. And your fairy seeds will unfold from inside. Just like they would have next summer if you had stayed here.”
Their excitement was mounting as plans started to form.
“And perhaps, just perhaps,” I suggested, “they will know a good place with soil and sunshine and some magic. And on some sunny day, when a soft breeze is blowing, they’ll toss your seeds into the air and away they will float, just as they should. Just as they would have, but somewhere exotic and fun. It’s a bit avante garde, I suppose.
“How about it?”
Well, it took us a week to figure it out. We gathered up boxes. I found my address book. And seven brave pinecones volunteered for adventure.
Into boxes they jumped. Tucked in with some branches. And a note with instructions. P.S. Watch out for the sap, we said.
Not everyone wanted to travel. And that is just fine. One for sure is staying with me. Another one asked to be strapped by the birdhouse so she can try spreading her wings in the spring.
And this group, well they’re having fun talking. So they’re hanging out on the porch for a little while longer. They don’t mind the rain.
Check your mailbox!!
Here’s the wordless musical version: