168. The Great Fir

It takes a lot of determination and perseverance to do chemotherapy, but also to relax into the outcomes of the Eternal plan.


In the center of the back yard, a magnificent fir tree stands. It has always been there. Always, as far as my lifetime, and likely, always as it goes for my parents lifetimes as well. You couldn’t hug it alone. Perhaps two people could circle it and touch fingertips. My guess is that it is nearing its 100th birthday, a centurion among us.

When I sit in the family room, it stands in the middle of the vision out of the window. So during meditation, reading, sharing with family, if I look out, there it is. Stoic. Constant. The overseer, observer, grounding force. It is also the tree that continues to gift us with cones. This year has been less cone-full, perhaps a kindness that it shared because of my inability to do battle, to scoop or rake them up.

The Magnificent Fig Tree

The symbolic meaning of fir trees is vast. The google search uses sunsigns.org for the highlighted answer:

“Fir symbolism stands for power of determination and perseverance. Celts also appreciated the importance of remembering the past, learning from one’s mistakes and cherishing the wonderful times. Life is a gift and fir trees serve to remind us to not take that for granted.”

Sooooo, that pretty much sums up my current life situation. It takes a lot of determination and perseverance to do chemotherapy, but also to relax into the outcomes of the Eternal plan.

Trees bring us to our roots. This tree has been here since we moved here in the early ‘70s, was large in the original pictures of the yard. It was not removed when the housing development was built. It has seen the droughts, storms, and earthquakes of the century. And in our small, Sims like, inconsequential existences, it has watched me grow since I was five (we met before the house was built), watched my children since they were born, watched the beginning of the next generation being presented in the arms of Indrayani, or on Chelsea’s and Nyasha’s leashes.

Learning from our mistakes, we live a quieter, more accepting life. We listen a bit more closely. We feel more intensely. We ponder deeply, and see significance in a broader, more Universal interpretation.

Life IS a gift. We hear the Fir Tree tell us not to take the moments for granted, the visit to the pumpkin farm, the family meals, tie dye on the breeze way, the laughter, the tears.

We are grateful.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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