Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The View From the Tree House

Tonight I am writing from the Tree House - savoring my last few days as a resident in Santa Fe, NM. I've called my home the Tree House because my bedroom on the second floor is wedged in tightly between Chinese Elms and Chinese Sumacs (tree-of-heaven) giving the arboreal appearance of living aloft high in the trees.

These trees and me-- we are non-native species, transplants and immigrants that flourish here in this high-desert paradise far from our original homes. Unlike me, these trees have taken root here and revel in a permanency that eludes me. My roots are not necessarily where I grow - but even without roots I have blossomed here beyond my wildest dreams.

Tonight I lie here in hopes of catching a last glance of the remnants of the Perseid meteor shower. From the vantage point of my bed I can look straight up over the tops of these trees to wall full of sky and stars.

As the last hours of my birthday weekend and the last days of my residency in Santa Fe fade to lights out -- its refreshing to know that in that darkness the sky is illuminated with shooting stars - pieces of rock cleaved off comets entering the earth's atmosphere on fire with spontaneous combustion. I arrived to Santa Fe much the same way thirteen years ago -- errant cosmic dust with my tail on fire and combusting with a passion for this place and its people.

Perhaps these little chunks of wayward stars perpetually streak across the sky in hopes of returning to the place from where they broke off. On Friday, I too will streak across the prairies and return to the place from where I broke off. And unlike the trees whose gentle boughs hold me up to the stars tonight, I will return to Oklahoma welcomed as a native species -- no longer invasive, no longer an exotic weed, but rooted firmly in the landscape of my birthplace. Home Sweet Home
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