Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The Cottonwood tree is the essence of Kansas; the John Hancock of its declaration. Its branches arch over roadways and split into jagged V's that line the sky in dark silhouette. The leaves, in contrast to sturdy bark, are delicate; rounded triangles that rustle together in whispered syncopation.

Our state tree, the Cottonwood stands strong, triumphant, majestic through the pull of each season; the harsh, cold winters of ice and snow, springtime's fury of storms, and summer's penetrating heat and galing winds. And during Autumn, it changes so quickly and subtly into its golden dressings that the ordinary suddenly turns into the spectacular.

So it is with our people. We may seem
ordinary, laid-back, plain. The glamour of the more appealing and visual grabs the fickle attention of a world on a fast-moving track.

But we endure with strength and resilience; bending with the wind, adjusting to the harsh sun, soaking up the rain. We fork in different directions and grow to different heights. And though each brings new perspectives and patterns to the palette of our lives, we come together through joy and despair to make a statement.

As autumn finally marches in, I look up. I notice the beauty and the strength that I so often take for granted. I'm thankful for the place that I stand and the people by my side. And though my corner of the world is just a very small part of a very large square, I am in awe at its magnificence.

So as leaves change color and the sky burst into cobalt blue, I tuck a quilt of comfort around me; content in my place, happy in my heritage and trusting that winter's arrival will be merely a slow introduction to new growth, new beginnings and new blooms.


martie said...

Lori, this is lovely! Your posts always lift my spirits and reassures me that "all is right with the world". Thank you so very much!

clew said...

Hi Lori,

As you know, I've recently gotten tangled up in elsewhere things, and I've been so down in the dumps lately ... But I think I just figured something out. I need to visit you more frequently again. Your posts always warm my heart and boost my mood. :)

Have a great day, friend!


P.S. I love these pictures. I took some similar shots of aspen trees in Colorado years ago. :)

srp said...

They are right, you know how to lift the spirit with your words that come straight from the heart.

Cottonwoods - are these the same ones that put out those white fluffs that kill my sinuses? Just thinking about them makes me clog up.

Pete Mitchell said...

Wow! Fantastic post! Clew is right. You lift the spirits.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Around here it's maples and oaks bursting into color. And oh, they are lovely. I can put up with winter if I get fall before it.

A very beautiful and thoughtful meditation. :-)