Saturday, 27 June 2020

Trees and the earth's lovelinesses

Today 10 years ago two South African poets - Norman Morrissey and myself, for those who know us - made a covenant under a tree - a copper beech, whom Norman had named Guinevere, for her splendid auburn foliage.

Today 7 years ago, we formally tied the knot before friends and family.

When Norman fell mortally ill in 2017, I went to Guinevere and asked her for help and comfort. I took down words, which I felt streamed to me from her, and entitled it Song of healing. I made a crude monotype print, painting the words as a mirror image to themselves (a requirement for hand-printing letters), and used a few of Guinevere's leaves in the design.

Today 3 years ago, I gave Norman the framed picture as a fourth anniversary gift.

He died on the 26th day after that.

I published the song in Greater Matter, my book of poems tracking my journey of grief as a widow.

Norman's love for Guinevere, and for trees in general, built a foundation for me sounder than anything I had enjoyed before.

Is it presumptuous to say that Guinevere's witness to our covenant ensured that my heart be rooted into a love that was greater than our mere selves? A love that helped make me far more whole than I had been before, a love that healed woes and wounds and curses?

I don't know.

But I do know that I continue to live in and by the laws of love. And that love has deep roots beyond my human flesh, it has roots feeling into all the earth's lovelinesses.

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