It’s a week later, and the tree has been cleared and the deck lies crumpled and splintered. The railing is gone so our view from the house is wider and brighter than before. Estimates and claims are swirling, and we have the happy problem of replacing the items we lost, along with rebuilding the deck.

But what to do with my hero? I thought I might bring her inside—wash her off and find a place of pride, a retirement home of sorts, to display her. Something befitting her service where I could see her every day. Quick on the heels of that thought was a slight suffocating feeling, like the moment your big sister clamps a pillow over your face and you wonder if she really means it when she says she’s not letting go. And then she does, and you pretend it didn’t get to you but your chest feels tight all the same. (True story.)

My new heroI don’t think the globe wants to come inside. Her place is out there, in the suburban wilds, taking her chances with fallen trees, and with chirping birds, fragrant flowers, gentle breezes, twitchy squirrels, and butterflies. My hunch is, she thinks it’s worth the risk.
So I thought my lesson in all this would be one of resilience, strength, holding one’s own in the face of adversity…and it is all of those things. Mostly though, hero taught me to not stay small and safe, but to take a deep breath, get back out there, and revel in the beauty of life. Take it all in.

I love Steve’s idea to make her the centerpiece of our emerging display on the remaining tree trunk. A planter, some artful woodworking, a little free library, perhaps? Something befitting her service and bravery. I like the new view.

Here’s to never letting go, though sometimes it does get lonely.
I still walk out in the morning light, just to see what is there.
I hear music in silent nights, searching, I find a reason to care:
One heart moving, still the same, still in the game. – Steve Winwood