I love nature. There is such a peace I feel when I’m out in the woods, on the beach, or just sitting on my deck surrounded by the tall trees that are behind my house. If there is water involved, like a babbling brook or ocean waves that is an extra bonus (smile).
This tree is in my back yard. I know it is hard to tell by the picture, but it is indeed one tree. And yes that is both white and pink flowers that you see gracing it’s branches. I LOVE this tree. It is so unique. It was here when we moved into our house 18 years ago so I’m not sure how it came into existence, but I am so happy that it ended up in my backyard. In many ways, this tree reminds me of the journey I’ve been on the past several years.
On the one hand, it reminds me of my faith. The branches on the tree that have the white flowers grow up towards the sky. The branches that have the pink flowers grow outward and spread out as if they are reaching for something. The white version of the tree is my connection to God while the pink version is my desire to reach out to others to share His love. To me it’s also a symbol of my once rigid belief system entangled with my quest to let God out of the box.
When I look at this tree, I also see the struggle of my son. He tried to stay on a path that he thought was required of him. In doing so, he had to deny who he really was inside. He tried desperately to stay on that path while on the inside he felt his true self reaching out trying to break off of the path that was never meant for him. I see the part of the tree that grows upward and has the white flowers as the path, while the pink side is him reaching out to be himself.
I also can’t help but think of the transgender people I’ve met when I look at my tree. Born as one gender while truly another. My tree is two trees intertwined into one.
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know that things have gotten very heated towards transgender individuals. The bill that was passed in NC and the whole Target bathroom announcement has caused some pretty ugly banter on social media. What really surprises me is that some of these people who have the loudest voices don’t even know a transgender person. Sadly this recent activity has caused suicide hotline calls to increase with the incidence of calls from transgender individuals doubling.
As I’ve shared my personal journey, I’ve tried to share the journey of others that I have met along the way. I try to speak on their behalf and not speak for them, but that is really difficult. As I’ve tried to relay what I’ve learned, it’s been in my voice. It is so much better to hear it from the person who has experienced it themselves. So I think this is the perfect time to hear from some other voices. Voices that know first hand what it’s like to have a transgender child. I have three amazing moms who have agreed to be a guest on my blog and share a part of their journey. I know all of these moms personally. I have witnessed some of their struggles first hand. I’ve seen the pain of their children through their eyes.
I will be posting one story a week beginning next week and I will use the picture of my tree as the series picture since it is my symbol of this journey. I’m excited for you to meet these moms through their written words. It gives you a chance to step into their shoes. To me, being willing to learn about another person’s story is an act of love.
And love matters…