You’ve seen it in fall, winter, and spring. Here is the tree in summer, the tall maple on Floral Street that has come to symbolize my cycle of grief. The cycle that started 11 months ago today, the day Marcus died.But does this new crop of robust green leaves truly represent my life? Do I have the ability, like photosynthesis, to use the sun to create energy in my leaves and release oxygen? As I look around my sweet little apartment (otherwise referred to as my “grief sanctuary” and yet feels like a tree house), the task of packing up my boxes and moving — couches, desk, bed, dishes and all — into storage feels daunting, almost paralyzing.
Beginning a new chapter is like staring at a blank page on my computer monitor, sitting there in my desk chair wondering where and how to begin the story. Where will I land? What will become of me? Will my TV show sell? Will I finish writing my book? Will I ever find love again?
My reverie of anxiety is interrupted by an email from my friend Alison. “Stop those tears! Once you hit the road you will feel better. Ahem, pie anyone? Iowa pie! Delish!”
Alison knows me very well. And she’s right. I feel better when I’m in motion. (And when I’m eating pie.) Which makes me realize that the tree has been the wrong symbol all along. I am nothing like a tree. I am and always have been “a rolling stone that gathers no moss.”
As for the tree and its life cycle of leaves symbolizing my grief, it’s going to take a lot more than four seasons to end my grief. Even so, I’ll keep the maple leaves I’ve gathered tucked in between the pages of my journal as a souvenir of its symbolism — of grounded, rooted strength and grace. Because even a rolling stone needs an occasional place to rest.