7:30 BELLS: Dancing in the Company of Trees

New geographies open our eyes to new wonders, as I found on my trip to San Antonio, Texas. When I stepped out of the car, I thought I’d stepped into another world. I heard the white-tailed doves singing, breathed the heavy air, and blinked at the flat slab of the light. But the splendor of the massive live oak trees shook my heart.

We don’t have such trees where I live. Worn out before my trip, I had even stated to myself that I needed “the company of trees.”

I found the oaks enchanting company. 

On many walks, I did a kind of Live Oak Dance. My head craned up to admire them. I turned, twirled, stopped to stare upwards, enraptured. I admired their lateral branches, their audacious twists, their confident assurance of their place in the world. The bells rang and rang.

Once, as I was doing this dance, I noticed a man sitting on his porch staring at me. And I realized how strange I must look, how like a child. For a moment I turned red. Then I smiled and unabashed, continued my Live Oak Dance. I didn’t care how I looked. Far more important to me, is to live by these lines from Mary Oliver’s poem When Death Comes:

“When its over I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.” 
–Mary Oliver

And this from Henry James:  “Try to be one of those upon whom nothing is lost.” Although I might put it as: try to be one of those upon whom everything is found.

And just yesterday at the SCBWI Writer’s Conference, acclaimed fantasy author Franny Billingsley told us, “never let your apprehension grow dull.”

Apprehend the world with unabashed amazement, 
and let the bells ring out!

7:30 BELLS  Posts run every Tuesday.

7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday of every month. Join me on May 13 for a guest post with actress and Children's Literature Blogger Little Willow, Allie Costa.