Into the city, mornings, with a flock of commuter-souls. Good people; good coffee; good restaurants; good friends; and work. Late afternoon, I drive out of the city, west to the Other Side of the Trees. *These words were written when I started this blog. Since then, a new season has rolled in, like autumn leaves and the elusive wind that comes along. A season ended. The grief, it wasn’t that bad. I needed to let go of what needed to go. Actually, yeah … the grief was fairly rough; and the grieving isn’t even over, yet. I was already on the Other Side of the Trees, prior to this disruptive season-change, when I was driving into the city, out of the mountains, leaving our cottage at 8800 feet, a cottage just big enough to accommodate two parents / spouses and two kiddos and two dogs. The sun often would beat me home, and I would stand in the night, in the quiet, taking a look at the stars, and acknowledge my thankfulness that I was home, on the other side of the trees. It has been a number of months since I quit my job in the city. Now I am on the Other Side of the Trees most of the time. I work here, now. My wife and I both have a counseling practice. I see my wife, my kids, my dogs, a great deal more, now. And I am healing from what had been a gradual descent, over several years, back into my secondary PTSD, back into a well-hidden depression.
One night, after everyone had gravitated toward bed, Stash (the a is pronounced as a short “o”) was maintaining her vigil on our little deck outside our bedroom, and she could be heard uttering a gravelly, low howl, warning that a bear was close. It is a distinctive sound communication, reserved for bears and mountain lions.
I flashlighted up the night; ‘saw a black hulk lumbering through the forest, on the other side of the trees, upward and to the northwest. As with life, I continue to be surprised by what comes through the wilderness. I attempt to be aware; to listen, to see, and hear my discernment.
My kids love me, their dad … this is God’s doing. My wife loves me, more of God’s doing, and it is grace: receiving something or someone undeserved. Such a great woman, she loves this family, convincing me that I am loveable (wow). I work with at-risk people, chop wood; and I know some things about Christ, how He has a place for me up at the “Festival of Friend”, Bruce Cockburn’s words from one of his many, many, songs. My joy connects with God and others and music, along with my hope. With that being said, my hope is that you will enjoy this blog and your journey to your own Other Side of the Trees.