Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Tree’

Somewhere In My Memory

I would be remiss if I did not include this musical treasure from the movie “Home Alone”. It never gets old, year after year – and some of my best memories of this song are singing it in a “Singing Christmas Tree” production at our church years ago. I sing it with students every year at this time of year – and it’s always fresh and beautiful. I found this HD video with the song and think it is just lovely. Hope you enjoy it!

God Bless

Things That Go Meow In The Night

Cat Up A Tree

Cat Up A Tree (Photo credit: Duncan Brown (Cradlehall))

Several nights ago, we were awakened in the “wee” hours of the morning.  At first it was a “meow” – outside our open window.  We have cats in our neighborhood – several in fact.  My first thought was this: – “must be one of those cats we see during the day”.  I turned over and went back to sleep.  Then a little while later, “meeeeeooooow”.  This sounded different – low and mournful.  It continued in this fashion for some time – and I went  to see if I could see anything out the dark window.  I couldn’t.  It stopped.  Again I went back to bed and to sleep.  Every hour, or so it seemed – this sound continued.  By morning both Greg and I agreed that we didn’t get a lot of sleep because of that crazy cat!  Just where it was and whose it was – continued to be a mystery.

This incident put me in mind of when I was in junior high school and was commissioned to feed “Louie” – a white persian cat who lived across the street, while the neighbors went on vacation.  Although Louie had never been to my house – much less my bedroom – he knew which open window was mine!  In the early morning hours he would position himself under it and MEOW until I could stand it no longer.  I would drag myself out of bed, pull my clothes on and reluctantly go across the street and FEED HIM!!  Anything to just SHUT HIM UP!

And for a brief moment in the night – I did wonder if this poor cat was somehow hungry – although it was inconceivable in our neighborhood full of cats and dogs and very attentive owners.

Later that day I was taking a nap and through the open window I heard the “Meow” again.  I thought I was hearing things.  It was really weird.  Then it went away the same mysterious way it had in the night.

We were getting ready to go to bed that evening and I told Greg, “I’m just going to stand on our porch and see if I can hear that cat again – you never know, right”?  I wanted to make sure the poor thing wasn’t injured or hungry and was making the rounds through the neighborhood.  I opened the door – stood on the porch and called in a pretty quiet voice, “kitty, kitty”.  I heard it AGAIN!!!  The answering “Meow”.  I opened the door and said to Greg, “you’re not going to believe this – I called and the cat answered!  By this time Greg came out too – very anxious to find the mysterious cat.  I’m sure motivated by the fact that we didn’t want another interrupted sleep.  So I kept calling – and the cat kept answering.  But he would not come to me.

It was puzzling.  How long could the cat stay away from my beckoning – especially if so hungry and lost?  I walked across the street and tried to follow the sound of the “Meow”.  It would stop – then continue again.  Finally after what seemed like 10 minutes or so – Greg came across the street – looked into the tall evergreen trees and said, “that cat is up in the tree”.

What happened after that took about an hour.  Because it was so dark – Greg grabbed his most powerful flashlight and we both tried searching the trees – calling and calling – but we could not find him anywhere!  Greg then took his 30 foot ladder and proceeded to climb it in order to get a better look.  This made me a little nervous – especially in the dark.  Greg attempted to calm my jitters by saying, “I climb these tall ladders all the time to do windows”  – “yeah not in the dark”  I said.  After 2 attempts to find the cat up the ladder, I decided to go back into the house and call animal control.  Surely they would know what to do and send someone.  They directed me to 911 – and from there they connected me to the fire department, who I found out (Greg had warned me of this fact) they DO NOT COME AND GET CATS OUT OF TREES.  The fireman told me that when cats are hungry enough they come down on their own.  I said, “Really? – he’s been up there for 24 hours now”.  I was disappointed, hung up and went back outside.

When we finally spotted the cat – in ANOTHER tree other than the one Greg had climbed – we discovered he was at least 40 feet up and there was no way to rescue him.  We could see the reflection of his eyes in our flashlight.  It was so sad to have to leave him there – we were sure he would not be able to make it down on his own.

The funny thing is this:  There were NO NEIGHBORS out and about – it was only about 10:30pm.  Where was everybody?? – while we were out in the woods of our cul-de-sac crashing around with ladders and flashlights and “HERE KITTY, KITTY!!”  It was insane how lonely and deserted our street was at that hour when usually we would hear people coming and going – our neighbors getting home, letting their dogs out and having loud conversations under our open window.  Not this night.  Everything was completely still.

It made us sad – but we had to go home and turn a fan on so that we would not be kept awake all night with the mournful sounds from the tree across the street.

In the morning as soon as it was light enough – we went across the street – I called out – no answer.  We search around – looked up where the cat had been, where it was hard to see in the dark – no cat!

We have NO IDEA what happened after we gave up and went home.  Did the cat find the courage to climb down after all?  There was no dead cat and no sign of a live one either.  It remains a mystery.

Oh poor kitty.  I hope you’re okay and found your way home.

I Can Hear The Leaves Falling!

Trail in the woods

Trail in the woods (Photo credit: blmurch)


Today we took another one of our walks on this trail near our house.  The path of the trail leads through a very wooded area, dense with trees, vines and bushes.  At times we have been lucky enough to spot a deer standing perfectly still like a soldier at attention.  Sometimes a bunny rabbit or squirrel will make its presence known.  And today a tree frog sang out to us as if to say, “look at me, look at me!”

English: The New England Tree Frog (Litoria su...

English: The New England Tree Frog (Litoria subglandulosa). Because this photograph concerns a rare and/or protected species, only an approximate location is provided: Ebor, Australia Français : Litoria subglandulosa. Ebor, Nouvelle-Galles du Sud (Australie). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)













We were walking along, talking about this and that – when all of a sudden Greg said, “listen!”  I stopped and heard a rustling noise – more than the rustling of an animal stalking us in the bush beyond where we can see.  I looked up and to my surprise, I saw the MANY leaves falling from the tall trees far above our heads.  They made quite a demonstration of it – crackling and bumping the tree branches on their long descent down.  It was really breathtaking.

And so we continued along ever mindful of the change in the path, now covered with crispy newly fallen leaves – and the turn in the weather in the last few days.  The 29th day of August – it is official.  Fall is already here.

As I contemplated this, I must admit that I was sad.  I love fall – don’t get me wrong.  Living in the Pacific Northwest has been beautiful this summer but very short-lived.   I am sad that we have to wave goodbye too soon.

Still – I do love the crisp and cool mornings and the smell of the earth as things change in the weather.  I love the fall colors and the season that it precedes.

And there is nothing like falling leaves – full of color, as they float to the ground.  Sometimes they are silent and fall without our knowing.  Sometimes they make a BIG NOISE as they fall.  But they fall just the same.  It is a fact of life.  We can either accept them and their ultimate demise – even if we think it is before their time, or we can cover our eyes and ears and say, “NO!  I won’t accept this!”  Either way – it is going to happen.

Autumn leaf color

Autumn leaf color (Photo credit: INABA Tomoaki)

Fall is a time of death.  It is a resting time for nature.  It is a time to regroup and take a nice long nap.  The beauty of those leaves reach their final peak of brilliant color – just as they are about to die.  God designed that even death would have its own beauty.

Take a walk today – observe what is happening in nature. Another turning of events – another season unfolding before our eyes and ears.  And in the long winter months – we can be assured that just as things had to die – they will be reborn again.  Spring is coming.

God Bless

Fragile Like A Tree

Redwood grove on north flank of Sonoma Mountai...

Image via Wikipedia

Our pastor used a great illustration several months ago.   He told about the redwood trees found in Northern California.  Greg and I know all about the redwoods because this is  where Greg and I pastored a small church for 3 1/2 years in the early 90’s.

Redwood trees are the largest trees in the world.  So large that you can drive a car through them – and in fact there is a tree with a hole cut out of it where a car COULD drive through – we’ve been there to see it.  But something very strange about these trees – their roots are actually very shallow – only a couple of meters deep. You would think that for trees this size – the root system would wind down for hundreds of feet and they would be very strong and invincible.  But they are not.  They are very vulnerable by themselves.  Their real strength comes from the other trees.   They act as a barrier and protection when close together.

We have much to learn from these massive beautiful trees.  They appear so strong and stable.  But they have a weakness.  And like the trees, so do we.  We cannot stand alone.  Oh I guess we CAN – but we SHOULD not.  We need each other.  We are fragile – like these trees.

Who are you close to?  Do you have anyone in your life that acts as a barrier and protection?  Who has your back?

We started a small group in our home with other like-minded and fragile people.  As we share our stories of joy and pain – it is good to know that we were never meant to do life alone.  We need each other.  I need support and help from my brothers and sisters – those who can share my everyday battles, opportunities and  circumstances – but who also have my back when life goes sideways – giving support and holding me close,  offering assistance and encouragement to keep me from giving up – or from falling over – like a tree.

I’m thankful for the people who God has placed in my life and along my journey to help to encourage me, lift me up and be there to protect and love me – when I mess up, get it wrong and need a little extra grace.  My friends – the trees in my life.

God Bless

A Touch Of Fall

I took a walk today.  And I took my camera along – just in case.  I came upon a park close to our home – my favorite trees line the street.  I can always tell what season we are in when looking at those trees.

A little red leaf trickled down from a branch and on the sidewalk in front of me while I was walking by – and I thought to myself, ‘what a journey you have taken, my friend’.  Yet – undaunted – it fell to the ground.  That was his job – he had begun, sprouted, blossomed – turned a beautiful color and then broke loose and died.  No disguises – no hiding.  A leaf is just a leaf.

Are we like trees?  Can people tell by looking at us – what season we are in?  Can they tell who we are?  Do we show it on our faces – our posture – is it evident in the sound of our voice – do we give ourselves away?  Have we sprouted?  Blossomed?  Turned a beautiful color that is evident to all those around us?  Or do we hide – like some well seasoned actor with lines to learn – and a disguise that suits us?

William Shakespeare once wrote these words in his play, “As you like it”:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” — Jaques (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)

Are we well rehearsed?  Do we ever give our true selves away?  Are we merely great actors – destined to hide behind a mask – or the internet so that no one really knows us – or confronts us?  Or are we willing to let people in – and really see us?

Are we graceful and strong down to our roots – even in the ‘fall’ and ‘winter’ of our lives.  Are we unmoved by changes that come and go?  Are we most beautiful when we have gone through much pain and endurance – as we surrender to the ‘winter’?  I believe that much beauty is produced in our lives during those tough times – when we have been stripped bare of any pride – when the ‘real us’ emerges.  I myself have struggled in this area – resisting with everything in me.  Wanting to run and hide when hurt comes and threatens to swallow me – wanting to ‘fake it’ and paint on a sunny smile – hoping to fool those around me.  But I also believe spring always comes – I believe that God allows me to go through seasons – I believe that He protects me down to my roots – shaping me and giving life from the inside out. Even when it is most uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Psalms 1 says this:

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

What kind of tree are you?  One that will blow away with the wind – not deep enough to withstand pain, hurt, stress, disappointment and failure?  Or are you one who is deeply rooted – clinging to life and embracing the different seasons as an opportunity for growth and depth?  I pray you are the later – and that you will find your strength and courage in God to lead your through and bring the beauty out in your life today.

God Bless

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