In the backyard of my childhood home, there were two walnut trees. From the window of the family room--the den as we called it--I could see them both, large trees that in my mind seem more bare than full of leaves. In my memory, they are in winter, the branches arcing up like reaching fingers, the bark wet with rain. Underground, walnuts we did not often pick, some with the green skins on them, the scars of squirrel bites on them.
I think I stare out the winter windows of all my homes, but looking for what? Spring to come? Maybe I am glad to be in winter, happy in the stasis, glad for the break. I'm glad for the winter almost upon us now. I'm writing, looking out at two different trees, cypress trees,evergreen but the branches almost as visible as those walnut trees from so long ago.
The world is in relief in winter, so much more visible, and not all of it good. In winter, the world slows down, the days grow short, and we have to pay attention to our lives. We can see them for maybe the first time in months, and often, we need to shed everything just like the trees. Leaves, walnuts--activities, tasks, events. We need to let go, to sink in, to stand behind the window and look at what is going on, what has happened, what has changed.
And then, just like the season, we will turn. We will go from the darkest day to one slightly longer and brighter. Then it will be spring, and now, writing this, I can imagine the strange dark, almost acidic smell of the walnut leaves, feel their slight sandpaper quality, see their almost lime green newness as they pushed out on the tree. Spring will come, and the moment of introspection will pass, and we will move on and into until the next time we look out the window.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org