Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good Bones

There's a maple tree in
front of our house
~ Autumn Blaze ~
that dazzles in the fall, 
when she is adorned in 
bright red leaves.

We've had cars stop,
this year, to take 
her picture.

The show doesn't last
long, though, and before we 
know it, she has shed her 
mantle and is standing only 
partially clothed, waiting 
for the last of her leaves to blow
away as she settles into winter.

All we will see for the
next five months will be
her strong, proud, branches
raised sky ward.

She has good bones.

Which got me thinking
about human beings, who,
instead of living a cyclical
life like our maple tree, take
a straight path, from

tiny branches and
supple green leaves

to the flush of
adulthood, covered
 in splendid leaves

and then to
full maturity,
with fewer leaves but
sturdy trunks and 
strong branches.

Trees do this shoots-to-
leaves-to-shedding dance
over and over, but we 
will do it just once.

If we are lucky.

Our good bones are not
xylem and phloem, but
the cumulation of a 
life well-lived; of wisdom,
love and kindnesses we 
have shown to others; the
true essence of our spirit.

So when the strong winds
blow into our lives and
start to strip our leaves ~
our years ~ away, what
remains is the us that took
years to fully form.

Our good bones.

Sometimes life throws us
curves along the way and
we have to bend, the way a
 tree rails against the wind.

But like a house that has
been worn or neglected,
if it has good bones, it has
potential for resurrection.

A lot of us worry about
our leaves, because the media
and popular culture tell us
to.  But in the end, isn't the
real beauty in those bare
branches ~ those bones
representing our souls ~
that have the greatest and
longest-lasting impact on 
the world?

I like to think so.
I really do.

Good bones embracing new ones : )

Today as I throw on my 
down vest and toss my 
plaid scarf around my neck,
hook up Gracie's leash and
head out for a walk in the
November sunshine, I am
going to shift my lens and
take in all the lovely, naked
trees along the way, not just 
the ones still covered in their 
autumn finery.

Their turn will come.
All of our turns will come.

And there is poetry in that.


PS:  Thank you to all of
you who joined me last Monday
around the virtual water cooler
to share a moment or two from
your week or weekend.  I will
be there with my coffee cup this
Monday, as well, and hope to see
you there!


A Gift Wrapped Life said...

It must be the weather this year Suzanne that is turning out the most brillant fall colours. I was going to take a photo of our front yard colour yesterday as they were so beautiful. I have noticed before but not quite as eye-catching as this year. Yours is a stunner. XO

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

That is a beautiful notion for the day, Suzanne. You definitely have good bones, girl!! I need to go for a walk today and breathe deeply and take in autumn and reflect. I don't do it often enough in the busy-ness of life.

Teacup Moments said...

i truly love this piece, suzanne. because the words you chose are beautiful and they ring so true. there's always something to think about after coming to visit you. that's why i keep coming back.

Biz said...


Today's post is like honey for the soul! It pours off the page rich and sweet and makes you think of how blessed you really are! Thank you for your words, your thoughts, your wisdom! Your style of writing is inspiring!
Have a Blessed day!

Stitchfork said...

Beautifully said - I never thought of it that way before. And I can't stop smiling at the spot on the photo where the small hands are holding onto the good-older-boned hand.
xo Cathy

jeanette from everton terrace said...

What a tree! When I see the empty trees of winter I often remind myself they are recharging. It's a good reminder to do the same for ourselves. Like Stitchfork, the old and young bones together made me smile :)

michele said...

beautiful, suzanne.

i cling to hope we find in nature that SEASONS CHANGE. that this one will pass and then something NEW. and even more than maples, we have opportunities for hydration, healing and help during a dry season.

keep growing!


Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Hi Suzanne, I am on vacation and visiting my middle daughter in Boston, so I have had a little more time to visit my favorite blogs. I love this post, you really have a poets soul! Maybe when I'm back in California next week I will be able to join you around the water cooler. Have a wonderful week my friend!

A Vintage Chic said...

Oh goodness, Suzanne...what a perfectly perfect how you likened the trees to our very selves...I will think of this whenever I see the good bones of a tree this winter...thank-you, dear friend.

Sadly, we don't get the color here in California that you do in your neck of the woods! I really miss that, having grown up in Ohio...oh, well...there are other blessings here!

Wishing you the most lovely of days...


animal print gal said...

Beautiful Fall pictures, great post!Thank you!

Hi, I'm Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh my! This tree should indeed stop traffic. I miss my lovely little tree I had while living in Georgia.

Here in Phoenix the cacti don't even lose their needles. Sigh.

Thank you for this pretty glimpse of fall.

pollydove said...

your words and messages never cease to amaze me. you truly have a gift. and i am soooooo jealous of that stunning tree! happy weekend my friend!

Palomasea said...

My goodness, thank you for this poetic post!

Just beautiful..
It is a pleasure to visit you, Suzanne, via the wonderful friends Anita at CCC, and Sylvia at Simple Life.

I will be coming by often!

A lovely week-end to you..stay warm and cozy,
- Irina

Linda said...

This is so lovely and thought-provoking, Suzanne! I definitely feel I have some of those bends you mentioned, but they just have given me character and resilence...
A beautiful post...XO, my friend...

Farmgirl Paints said...

Girl you know this already but you can WRITE. I love those thoughts that rumbling around in your head. So beautiful! Happy weekend my friend. I miss you. Wish I was there for that walk.

Tricia said...

Oh Suzanne, I know I have said it before, but you really have a gift for words. This was so beautifully written and thought provoking too. Hope you have a good weekend ♥

Tiffini Kilgore said...

you weave a beautiful tale is it our minds even think such things?
do everyone's?
ah well,I love it that ours does don't you?
I will take my good bones over a full head of leaves anyday.
Sending you happy thoughts this Friday

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Suzanne your thoughts always bring tears to my eyes. This is my resting place. I love to visit your blog. Hope you and Gracie have lots of wonderful breezy walks this Fall. XO, Mona

Linda in AZ * said...

*** Thank you, dear Suzanne, for such lovely, insightful thoughts, and the magnificent photos that accompany them...

Coming here is ALWAYS a heart-warmer for me, but this one reeeeally touched me...I sincerely "THANK YOU", my friend.

Linda in AZ *

Felicity said...

I always have time for a gorgeous redhead and your auburn hued beauty is a stunner!

Loving your life analogy and the good bones embracing the new is a truly heart-warming image indeed.

Happy weekend!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

We had an Autumn Blaze at our previous house in the US -it was a show stopper!! My favorite tree in England is the Beech - not for its color (yellow), but how its leaves pool at the bottom of its majestic grey trunks. Congrats on winning the paint from Sarah - how exciting! XOL

Julie said...


a thought provoking post. such truth in your words...No matter what beauty and polish and glitter we "put on" on the outside...It is what is on the inside, I too, am convinced... that defines life... OVERpowers all the exterior
lovliness. Were it not for that inner sap running beneath that bark...those leaves would not display such beauty. Your tree is GORGEOUS. One thing I have noticed about our Indian Hills area. The Trees are absolutely breathtaking. Cedar Rapids is lovely. Thank you for another post that goes right to the heart of Life...You are GOOD! Gonna write that book soon? Can I get an autographed copy!!!!!???????? Hugs for a beautiful weekend. xo

Julie said...

PS I just wanted to say...I *LOVE* the "Good bones embracing the New bones" photo... A KEEPER!!!! the picture speaks a 1000 words by itself. {{{hugs}}}

June said...

So beautifully put by a truly beautiful soul! I know that at the end of my life, all of the things I have been through will show on my trunk and branches and I hope that someone can still see some kind of grace there to love.

I love Autumn Blaze. They are so lovely. My sister has a row of ten in her pasture. LOVE seeing them in the Fall when they put on their show.
sending hugs...

Just a little something from Judy said...

Beautifully written post! So thankful I visited here today.

dovecote Decor said...

A Little girl sat over there
Curled up in a rocking chair
With waving wisps of flaxen hair
Twisted, tangled everywhere

What happened to that little girl?
She shed her careless youth for age
She went through Summer, skipping fall
Never to grow up at all.

I wrote this poem in High School, or this is how I remember it. Anyway, I was trying to express the same concept as your poem. I'd say it really spoke to me. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts!


hometown girl said...

you have such a beautiful way about you suzanne, so real & genuine. thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration! have a lovely day! xo susan

Pierre BOYER said...

Lovely automn colors...


Lili said...

You always have the loveliest thoughts and analogies Suzanne! xoxo ~Lili