My t-shirt “bowl” stretched out in front of my belly as I reached down to pick up another acorn. A red oak tree towered overhead in this field on one end of this 16-acre property belonging to our friends. I had just gotten off the phone with them. “We have a buyer. I can’t believe we won’t be going to our land anymore,” Mary said through tears. She and her husband were trying to come to terms with the emotions of changing health and changing times in their lives. Another surgery was scheduled. They couldn’t make the long trip up north before the land sale. Could we help them gather a few remaining mementos?
As neighboring property owners across the road, we met Ted and Mary almost twenty years ago. Mary had been planting trees. Ted had been gathering wood for a campfire. The land had literally brought us together. Each year since then has been marked by memories of campfires kindled with laughter. When the need arose, there were projects to give each other a neighborly hand. Each year in September, our wedding anniversaries were celebrated together over a shared meal.
Owning land meant more than just expanding our experiences in Nature; it meant expanding our circle of friends.
On this late summer day, I felt sadness sweep over me after the phone call. Knowing their depth of kinship with this land, I could imagine how deeply they grieved this loss. How it closed another chapter of their lives. How Mary would miss all of the trees she had planted and nurtured here. How those campfire talks on their land wouldn’t happen like they used to….
That’s when seeing the grand oak sparked an idea in me and my mood immediately improved. Let’s gather acorns, plant them, and surprise Ted and Mary with oak seedlings as lasting gifts from their beloved land!
Though there will be different firesides, we won’t let this transition be the end of good times between friends. Just knowing that there are seeds planted for them in pots on our porch right now fills me with great anticipation! Every day when I check them, I imagine the faces of Ted and Mary when we surprise them with oak seedlings from their grand oak.
Yes, acorns can grow friendships. I’m sure of it!
Gifts from Nature are plentiful and lasting. How have those gifts shown up in your life and friendships? How do you pass those gifts along to others?