Grow strong little tree, grow true,
Grow tall little tree, for me.
Be brave little tree, be wild!
Be free little tree, for me.
Dig deep little tree, down down,
Stand firm little tree, for me.
Protect little tree, my heart,
You see little tree – you’re me.
Oh the silly things we write while people try to die.
The day I get the call, the day my husband is in intensive care after overdosing, yes that day. That day I cut down a six-foot diseased shrub and I lop one half of a young ash so that the other can grow straight. I saw. I prune. I eliminate the rotten, the broken, the weak, and I do it in grim silence. For once, the voices in my head are quiet.
These, apparently, are the things we do when those we love try to destroy themselves and in doing so suck all around into the enveloping darkness. When you ask over and over in rising anguish “why can’t you see it? why can’t you see the light? It’s here, right here, why can’t you SEE IT?!”
I know more than I ever thought I would about clinical depression, yet still I struggle to understand.
This day also, Maya Angelou is laid to rest, and thinking about the courage and resilience of the woman behind Still I Rise is exactly what I need. So I lift my eyes and heart in thankfulness and leave you with the opening lines of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings…
” ‘What you looking at me for?I didn’t come to stay…’I hadn’t so much forgot as I couldn’t bring myself to remember. Other things were more important.”