I took a walk this morning,
my legs cold in the morning air,
hands shoved in pockets.
Winston my cat walked with me.
He distracted me some from the Spring Beauty
with his meowing and occasional lagging.
But the warmth of his companionship rode well in my heart.
I could not be distracted, though, from the abundance of the magnolia tree,
heavy with velvet flowers,
draped, and nearly drooping from such extravagance.
The morning light wasn't strong.
It was cloudy.
But the tree gave off its own light.
"Good morning, Magnolia. You are magnificent," I said, stopping to admire.
"I am what I am, as you are what you are," she replied.
The white and purple petals were browning around the edges.
A messy lushness.
The sidewalk strewn with fallen petals, further browned.
Gorgeous, messy, lush, majestic, at it's full ripeness.
An abundant, flashy woman of a tree.
Winston and I continued on.
We came to a huge, old tree with small white petals, branches spread wide;
an umbrella of massive steady sweetness,
I couldn't help but pause beneath and turn my gaze upward.
I wanted to climb it.
Perhaps I could, that one branch began low enough.
I would have,
if we could have had some privacy.
"Good morning, Beautiful," I said to the precious strength of a tree.
It rained love on me.
"Good morning," it replied. "You should know, I've seen it all and still I have a pure spirit."
I knelt down and gave Winston a good belly rub.
Then we turned the corner and headed for home.
Sarah Pemberton is a teacher, a writer, and the founder of Write Now!. Sarah lives in Portland, Oregon with her two daughters.