The Tree of Love has witnessed the good and bad of my life.

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That tree of love out there casts a melancholy shadow.

It has grown, over the years, leafing out each spring with new friends, a wife, children, watered with admiration and respect.

I have watched it grow from a seedling, change colors each fall, drop its leaves in the winters of death, flourish in springtimes of new loves, new friends, new interests.

It has weathered raging storms, drought, floods, hurricanes and the death of parents, brothers, sisters, loved ones.

Jory Sherman
Jory Sherman

Sometimes I seek shelter in its shade as I reflect on those friends of mine who are soon to die.  I listen to the choir in its leaves and wonder if love always needs an object, a living person.  Yet, there is God, whom I cannot see, yet whom I love. My mother, long since passed into spirit, and my father, too, in another dimension.  The love still abides in my heart and grows in and on that tree.

My little brothers, too, hear my loving thoughts, I’m sure, although they too, are gone from this world.  And, my little sister, a victim of diabetes, struck down in the prime of her life.  I miss them all every day, but see their leaves shining on that magnificent tree that stands on a hill in the center of my mind.

I wonder at the many faceted essence of love.  Where does it come from?  Where does it go?  How does it know what lies in the hearts of people all over the world?

I see love in the eyes of my dog when he curls up on my lap and looks up at me.  I see it in my cat when she lies next to me and stretches out a paw to touch my arm.

I have seen love in my child’s eyes when she smiles up at me from the cradle of my arms.

I see love on the face of a friend when we talk or share a meal.

Love comes to me in many ways, mysterious ways, from some unknown place.

Love comes on the wings of a poem, or in the strains of a falling line of a nocturne composed by Fredric Chopin and played by Eugene Istomin on a Steinway grand piano.

And, there is that tree of love, each leaf a reminder of all whom I have loved and all who have loved me in this life.

That tree gives me a feeling of power, of immense pleasure.

Yet, there is still that melancholy shadow when I sit under the shade of its leaves.

It’s as if it was transplanted from some far-off Garden of Love, perhaps from ancient Eden.

The tree is a comfort, nonetheless.

It is there that I think about all those people and pets I have loved and who loved me.  I think of them with sadness, and with love.

It is at those times when I look into the Garden of Love and see only graves.

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Please click the book cover image to read more about novelist/poet Jory Sherman and his books.

 

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