Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Once there was a tree...


And she loved a kind and generous woman...


And every day the tree would go with the woman wherever she went.

She went to the school where the woman taught and she met all of her students.  She went to the grocery store, to soccer fields, to family parties, to hospitals and to the gym.

Everywhere they went, people noticed the tree and laughed and smiled at the woman and the tree was happy.

As time went on, the tree took on more responsibilities, carrying more and more of the woman's essentials.

The tree was full with the woman’s life...her papers and pens, her books and her money, her gym cards and energy bars, her receipts and the birthday cards that the woman gave to the people she loved.  The tree strained from the load and sometimes felt she might burst at the seams from the effort.  But the tree was strong and loved the woman very much.

And the tree was happy.

Then one day, some bad men who needed money, stole the tree away from the woman and took her far far away.

The woman was very, very sad.  She cried and told the policeman how important the tree was to her...how she was a very special tree, how much she loved her and how she carried the tree with her wherever she went.  They just couldn’t be apart.

The policemen heard how much the woman loved the tree and searched high and low to bring her back to the woman. As the policemen spread the story about the tree through the force, one officer thought he had recognized the tree in a trash dumpster they had inspected earlier that day.  Two policemen went back to the dumpster to see if the tree was there but the dumpster was empty.  The trash truck had already come to haul the tree away.

The policemen got back in their car and went to the landfill where they knew the truck had gone.  There amongst mounds of discarded trash, rotting food, old paint cans and muck, they found the tree.

The policemen drove the tree back to the woman’s house.

When the woman opened her door and saw the tree, she squealed in delight and hugged the tree and thanked the nice officers who found her friend.  The tree shook with joy  as the women held her, feeling safe once again with her friend who she thought she had lost.

And the tree was happy.


And the woman was happy too...

But also sad.

The tree was wounded and hurt and was covered in grime and gook.  And even though the woman knew it wasn’t her fault that the bad men had hurt the tree, she felt guilty anyway and she put the tree away.
 

And the woman stayed away from the tree for a long, long time.

Until one day when a wise and very good friend of the woman got sick.  The woman wanted to do anything to help her friend feel better so she asked her friend what she could do for her.  The wise friend knew exactly what she needed so she asked the woman to get the tree out of hiding and take the tree to where she could be healed.

 

The wise woman felt that the tree was a metaphor for her own aging and wearing body.  Like the tree, she was no longer perfect but was still very much alive and filled with generosity.  She herself has lots to give and so must the tree.

The wise woman knew that the tree was never intended to be put away on a shelf but to be carried and worn...to serve the woman until she was all used up and until her last leaf fell from her limbs.



The tree was so excited to be taken off the shelf and wanted desperately to be part of the woman’s life again.  So she dusted herself off and cleaned herself up as best she could.  She took a soapy bath and tried to scrape the paint and grime from her trunk and branches.


She couldn’t wait for the woman to see her again...

When the woman saw the tree, tears welled up in her eyes, she embraced the tree and clutched her to her chest.  She was so very happy to see her friend again.



And the tree was happy.

[If you are new to this blog, you may not know the background history of this tale.  I made The Giving Purse in 2010 for a fundraising auction.  You can see more pics and read the story of the original purse here.   To here the story of the woman who bought, carried and had the purse stolen, you can go here and listen to her tell it in her own words.]

[For all those who wrote to give ideas on how to clean the purse...I couldn't find a dry cleaner anywhere who would attempt to clean the purse with all those leaves and apples.  Finally this weekend, Jim slowly worked on restoring the purse.  He dipped into water tentatively at first, scrubbing little by little until we were certain that none of the velvets or silks would run.  The result was great and better than any dry cleaner could have done.]

Here's to happy endings and new beginnings...

20 comments:

Elaine said...

I love a happy ending! Wonderful story beautifully written :)

Nouli said...

The description of the adventure of the tree was so vivid that has made me cry..The happy ending was a relief!

Laurie said...

What a beautiful story, with such a happy ending! Thank-you for sharing with us,

Sonja said...

I can't wait to hear about the trees next great adventure

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Very entertaining chapter in the life of the "tree" but it's not over yet!!

BTW, that Jim's a Jem!
xx, Carol

Maura said...

I love the Seth Grodin quote, as it encapsulates how I feel about you. You transform the everyday into something extraordinary. You take a simple, heartwarming children’s book and it evolves into a work of art, a beautiful metaphor. You can take a moment and magically change it into a treasured memory. Even when that moment is dark, challenging, and complex. Your positive energy, mindfulness, and abundant creativity in everything you touch, transforms how the story unfolds. How truly wonderful it is to connect with my tribe and to have friends that inspire us to connect beyond. Thank you Susan. And Abby. And Jim!!!

Wendy said...

What a heartwarming story! So glad that the tree and the lady are back together again...its so nice to read a happy ending story...the tree is so very lovely.

Lisa Boni said...

So glad that the tree purse lives again to bring joy to those who see it!

Createology said...

I am happy to know the Tree and Woman are once again happily together and ready to take on the world. Thank you Jim for taking the time to carefully clean this amazing tree of life. Susan you are truly amazing and thank you for sharing your story. Blessings...

Margaret said...

Thank you for the smile...and a wee tear. Love that persistent tree!

P.S. Shel Silverstein is smiling down on you all. :-)

Judy S. said...

Hurrah! Perfect ending/beginning!

Mosaic Magpie said...

Tears in my eyes and love in my heart for Jim. The giving just keeps on giving.
xo,
Deb

gigi knits said...

You should think about making a Tree of Hope & Life Bag to sell in honor of Breast cancer research.II would be the frist to order one!!

Oxford Branch said...

Yeah! Well done, Jim! I'm so glad the tree is restored to its former glory and restored to its one true owner. Can't wait to hear the next chapter in the trees adventure.

Suztats said...

Awwww....just beautiful!

Mary Ann said...

Love happy endings:)

margaret said...

you really should be writing a book the skill you have makes your articles a joy to read, this also caused a tear or two

Teresa said...

You write THE most beautiful stories and this is one of them. I read your original story & the theft & return of the giving purse and was mesmerized by it, such a wonderfully spiritual story. I wrote to you in the hope you'd do an online class for the Giving Purse & I think we said we'd talk in the new year. The year has nearly gone but Susan, if you could possibly think about it, I'd love to sign up. This story has to be told, the Giving purse has to spread her goodness & love to our damaged world. Aussies would love this special tree xx

Rachel said...

A beautifully-told story. I'm so glad that you and Jim managed to restore the tree!

traderslostart said...

The story was enchanting. I actually went back and read it twice. I was so happy with the conclusion of the story, because I for one adore happy endings. To Susan: You might have missed your second calling, a wonderful writer of tales. I think you have a book in you! I believe children will read your story, and it will become their favorite all time tale.
I remember when I followed the creation of the Giving Purse. I enjoyed watching it take shape and form, and I thought the concept was phenomenal, and still do. It was and is a glorious and giving creation.
Jim: Thank you for helping to make it whole again.
To Maura: I am so happy for you. I could see the love in your eyes, and I'm so happy that you have it back. I hope your friend is better now. She is indeed a wise woman.
May God bless you all.
Hugs, Sondra

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