My Giving Tree

I love when life throws out little metaphors.  Or better yet, big ole signs on the side of the road.  Especially when I am searching but not searching.

About as clear as mud, yes?

I just had a conversation with a friend about the possibility of reinventing myself past a certain age.  It started with a city and a pair of boots.

Women go through “The Change” when they hit a certain age.  I didn’t give it that name.  It just is.  So why do we always assume it only means the changes in physical stuff?  All the bullshit mother nature decides to unleash on us when we are least prepared to deal with it.  Every morning a new wrinkle (in skin and life) to contend with.  It feels like a test.  A test I was very unprepared to take.  And some days, I fail miserably.

The post-empty-nest, pre-whatever time of life.  It’s too easy to give in to the “why am I even here” thoughts.  The darkness that inevitably leads to an existential crisis.

I simply don’t have time for another crisis, existential or otherwise.

And then a window in New York City made me wonder.  And a window on my computer made me act.  And a window in my truck gave me my answer.

I drove home last night.  Up a familiar road.  Past a house that looks like it was built before the street was paved.  It isn’t pretty.  It sits next to a ditch.  Its driveway is always full of motorcycles and old cars.  There are bumper stickers for a local tattoo shop in the window.  I feel like my kind of people live there.  And there is a huge dead tree in the front yard.  Over the years, pieces of that tree have been lost to ice storms, wind storms and old age.  With every loss, they break out the chainsaws and clean up the mess, but the dead tree remains.  It is old and ugly and serves no purpose.  I have offhandedly wondered why no one has taken it down, but it has never bothered me.  It has just faded into the landscape.  I stopped paying attention to it long ago.

But last night, as I turned on to my street, I saw something magic in the distance.   The dark sky twinkled as if a constellation of multicolored stars had fallen toward earth, but stopped just short of crashing to the ground.   As I neared the magic glow hovering in mid-air, I was mesmerized.   And then I saw it.  The ugly house with the dead tree, covered in strands of multicolored lights.  I pulled over to take a longer look, and realized I had been holding my breath.

I wondered for a moment where I would find my lights.  I actually giggled when I realized there are ALWAYS strands of lights in the attic.  They will need to be untangled.  Plugged in to make sure all the bulbs are working.  But they are there.

I’m not giving up.  If I’m going to have a crisis, it will be a twinkly one!

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