The Hardest Goodbye

As Little Sir and I begin to prep for the good-byes, I am struggling with one that is going to sound silly when I tell you, but I am so not kidding. Even writing this post, I struggle to put it down one letter at a time without tears.

The redwood trees.

I have dear friends here, but I know we’ll be okay.

But these trees…this area has always been one of my favorites because of the trees. I remember coming here as a kid with my Grandparents and walking through the redwoods as coastal fog covered the trail and then the sun streamed through the mist and created God-light all around us. It was magical.

Yes, yes, the ocean. But did you see the trees?!

I remember moving into my first place here and having redwoods in my yard. In my yard! Right there. Every single day.

I wrote The Roaring Redwoods as a sort of love letter to those trees. Joe and Helen’s pivotal scenes all happen among the trees. They meet when she steps out of one. One of my favorite lines is when Hank asks if there will be Redwood trees in heaven. Helen responds, how could there not?

They are magnificent. Stunning. Holy.

When I went through the darkest days after my marriage imploded, I healed my broken heart by watching those trees. I’d put Little Sir down for his nap and sit and watch the trees. There were days I couldn’t manage much, but I would drive us to the nearby State Park and we’d walk through the ancient ones and I’d think about all that those trees had withstood. They’d made it centuries and still they stood.  Eventually, I’d absorb enough wherewithal to get through the rest of that day and the next…and so on.

I’ve curled my fingers into the grooves of their bark and sobbed. I’ve skipped and run under their canopy with my kids. I’ve been kissed in their hollows. I’ve stood on my deck and listened to them moan with the wind.

Their presence made God feel near many times when nothing else did.

I have been inspired. Soothed. Humbled.

And now it’s time to leave.

Someone else will move into this place and I hope they are as blessed as I have been. Because I have been very blessed