the consolation of the moon

Stepping outside to be with my garden awhile in the night, I saw a halo of moonlight around the top of the star-shaped tree. And so I was reminded that each of us is beloved, and is crowned with promises even in our darkest hour.

It doesn't stop me grieving, but it holds me calmer in the understanding that my grief is for my loss, and the tree herself is going to gain so much. I am only sorry for the pain she will go through first.

You may say she is just a tree. That is what the neighbours will be saying. A Norfolk Pine, they call her, which seems like such a cold, thoughtless identification - like calling someone an American Indian. We do this though, don't we? Name things and leave it at that, as if naming them is all the conversation we need to have with them.

I've learned over the past few years, through mothering, and now tending plants in a small garden, that names tend to stop communication. If someone is a child, we're less likely to listen to their desires, their fears, their long stumbling explanations. If someone is a Muslim, or homeless, or an ex-con, or overweight, that is all too often the end of the dialogue.

I don't believe the star-shaped pine is A Norfolk Pine. I believe she is herself. Old and steady and very strong. A Norfolk Pine may be broken into pieces, but she will go on into the forever light that even now blesses her soul.


  1. This is a really moving piece. The grief and sense of helplessness is not easy to bare. Sending love to comfort your gentle heart and to the incredible tree too. I feel that all life carry within them a beautiful spiritual essence and at times when there is not much we can do to prevent or ease their suffering, we can honour them, offer them love, our prayers, healing energy and gratitude for the gifts they have given us.

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  3. Beautiful words, beautiful her, building her bridge to the light. I have a fir friend here who sits to the east, her top branches like cupped hands holding a flame. We will talk of you both. I'm sure she already feels you.

  4. sarah, i love your posts. I love how they make me feel as I read your words. and i love that you go out to be with your garden at night. aren't they amazing even at night?

  5. You never cease to amaze me, Sarah. Your post moved me to tears - I'm truly sorry for your pain. Eckart Tolle has spoken of how we shouldn't label things because we are all one and you expressed it beautifully. The photo is spectacular. xoxo