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To Be Strong Like a Tree...

Updated on May 9, 2019
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Laura is a mother of two, a teacher, writer and an artist. She also identifies with dreamer, visionary, advocate and an organizer.

To be strong... like a tree


I’ve fallen.  Many times.  On the ground.  On my face.  In what I thought was true love.  The last one, I have allowed to hurt me the most; physically and emotionally, because for myself, it  seems hardest to recover from a broken me. 


In looking back at my relatively, short life, I’ve been in love (or what I thought was love)  many times.  Can one be IN LOVE that many times?  Or is it infatuation?  A good feeling that one mistakes for love?  Like licking mint chip ice cream for the first time…you think you can eat it every day, for the rest of your life and after a month or two, the look of it makes you want to puke.  In viewing my past relationships today, I think that perhaps I was never really  sure what true love really was.  I was raised on romance movies…the guy always gets the girl and visa versa.  My quest in life was to find my soul mate…is there such a thing?  I wondered.  Every day, as a matter of fact.  Every stinking day.


My definition of a soul mate?  Someone that has many common interests that you share. He  loves to be intimate and make love as many times as you do.  Or, if there is a sexual drought because of physical or mental health reasons, he still will hold you tight all night and you can be assured by his purring in your ear, that you are his one and only, and you know he isn’t there just because you can spread your legs.  Someone that loves to touch you and be touched by you even when the mood doesn’t strike.  He is your intellectual equal.  No matter how dirty, sweaty or disheveled he looks, you glance at him and find your heart beating out of your chest...your palms get sticky and you think he is the sexiest, most incredible man you have ever seen, and he in turn views  you as Venus, the Goddess of Love as you drip profusely with salty sweat.  Someone that shares your sense of humor and appreciates your jokes.  A man that shares the same work ethic you do and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.  He doesn’t use more styling products than you or take longer than you to get ready in the bathroom.  A man that can be spiritual and kind and also has an element of mystery to him.  Someone that doesn’t smoke, drink or spend all of their time on sports, racing or looking at other women to compare them to you.  He thinks that you are wonderful and sexy even though you are overweight and very  controlling.  Someone that you look forward to playing card games with.  A man that loves my cooking and loves hiking to see a sunset and cherishes  making love under the stars.  Now, who says that watching all of those romance movies never taught anyone something?  They taught me false hope.  Thoughts that the perfect person was out there for me.  That if I looked a certain way and acted a certain way, then my life would be perfect.  Romantic.  Priceless.  Now, I believe that the only thing that is priceless are those credit card commercials.  The hopes and fantasies conveyed by the dreams promoted are, in their words; pricey but worth it and therefore, monetary value  cannot be placed upon them.  From this end of the key board, the prices that I have paid cost me more than just money although the lessons that I learned were priceless.  I just wish I wasn’t still paying for them.  One needs to knock themselves in the head a few times before jumping both feet first into the imaginary priceless mode that spending your money, your time and your energy on things or people that cost a fortune to maintain or obtain.  The only priceless thing I gained from my past ventures were insurmountable amounts of expensive therapy, medication and expenses that I am still paying to this date all in the name of love.


I have intertwined a few men into my life.  I didn’t, however, remind myself that a relationship takes two people working towards a common goal.  I always thought I was working from my end.   The men kept telling me that they were working at it from theirs.  I closed my eyes to the signs.  I was spending a fortune.  I was remodeling their homes.  Clothing them.  Paying for many things because they were down on their luck.  Then, as if I had been hit by a truck out of the blue, I began to notice.  They started pulling  back.  They ceased telling  me about the small things they did during the day.  I noticed the way they stopped offering information in general and I felt like I was always wringing it out of them.  Then, in what seemed like a blink of an eye; it died.  I can only assume why I didn’t agree with their choices and why I didn’t see this demise in the beginning.  Insecurity.  Lack of worthiness in myself.  The end of each of these relationships was always a slow death for me and the feeling that I had in my heart was similar to bleeding to death, one drop at a time; while I sat or lay helplessly watching myself turn to gel and I just didn’t know what to do about it.  I felt listless and felt as if I should deserve to die, if only to end the pain I was constantly in.


When you meet someone new, it is wonderful.  Transforming.  You feel as if there is a special glow that radiates from your outer exterior.  You hear birds singing as you walk outside to get the mail.  The trees appear to dance in the wind and gyrate their branches as if to shout approval for any upcoming physical contact.  The clouds seem to form pictures of sweet, little creatures; and you feel as if you are stuck in an animated film.  The animals, nature, you and your love.

Yes.  I admit.  I have felt this way quite a few times.  So why?  Why with the end of each relationship, did I feel so certain that I was worthless ?  I lacked the ability to see it as a stepping stone, rather than a boulder falling on my face.  I should have been able to crush those rocks.  Turn them to pebbles.  I still fight myself today and lift many a boulder from my chest each time I feel a failure at something.  I try to envision myself as strong. Able to withstand sorrow.  I always snap.  I wish I were stronger…like a tree.


I have always loved trees.  Since I was a child.  I have always considered them to be as essential as humans ; and much kinder in many ways.  I still agree with this philosophy to some extent today.  Trees are the backbone of society, and in many ways, the reincarnated image I have wanted to be. 


A tree provides sustenance for all.  Depleting the air of formidable gases and expelling necessary vapors for our survival.  Trees are like hotels in the forest.  Beginning with the bark that houses insects and fungi.  The branches spread out providing rooms for creatures of every kind.  Trees do not see differences.  They don’t discriminate.  They open themselves and give shelter.  They provide cool shade.  We can sometimes gather food from our leafy friends that fill our bellies and bring us smiles. 


The personality of a tree is seen through the seasons.  In the spring cycle, rebirth is at its peak.  Buds, shoots and odiferous pleasantries fill the air.   Children squeal with joy as they witness new additions of greenery painted across the outspread limbs.  We breathe in deeply and take in the scent of innocence.  Just as the tree begins again, we feel the same inside.  Romance seems lustier.  Tousled hair blowing in the wind and shorts and short-sleeved shirts make an entrance. The spring erupts our libidos in a way that we don’t always expect.  Perhaps, it’s seeing the sexual behaviors of wildlife around us.  It puts us in the mood.  The quest for love or fooling around more with the one you love seems to be an unspoken nuance in your eyes.  Just as the tree spreads out and shakes off its limbs, you want to do the same.  You want to smell the musky odor of your man while he works outside.  To feel the sweat of his body sliding with yours and feel refreshed as a gentle spring breeze enters through the window after you make love.  It would be fulfilling to imagine myself as durable as a tree.  To be able to rebirth oneself, if you would.  To begin again and grow stronger after a long sleep, that seems like death many times.


This is my goal.  To be strong... like a tree.  To weather the storms.  To continue growth after each experience that leaves me feeling uprooted.  I have a strong foundation.  It's about time I use it.





© 2009 Laura Cole


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