When I heard that one of our beautiful birch trees was dying,I was heart-broken.
To me, it wasn’t just a tree.
It was something sacred, rooted in memory and meaning.
As a little girl, I spent hours under the lacy leaves of a pair of birch trees, staring up at the sky, looking for dolphins and elephants in the clouds.
Decades later, when Will and I bought our first house in Los Angeles, it was the birch tree in the front yard that told me we were Home.
And when we first set foot on our property in Ojai, (though not the best climate for them), four majestic birch trees welcomed us to a new life full of magic and possibilities.
So, even though our tree guy said losing one birch wouldn’t make a difference in the garden, it sure did to me.
The muck of loss.
I knew there were bigger problems in the world than a dying tree.
But every time I looked at its brittle branches and withering leaves, I felt like I was losing a part of my family.
Rather than pushing the feelings away, I followed my own “From Muck To Magic” advice and gave myself permission to sink into loss and helplessness.
Teary-eyed, I hugged my tree and imagined how depressing it was going to be to have nothing but a stump in its place.
The magic of surrender.
A few days later, out of my doom and gloom, there came a spark of inspiration.
What if we gave our dying tree new life and turned it into a bench?
I had no idea how to do that. But fortunately, I knew someone who did.
And so, now our beloved birch has become a giving tree.
Reminding everyone who sees it that magic can grow out of our muck.
Is there some muck in your life right now that you could see differently?
Can you find a glimmer of right in something that’s gone wrong?
Is there an unexpected gift hidden somewhere amidst your struggles?
Could a challenging relationship be reborn into something new?
Maybe it’s too soon to know. And the best you can do is sit with your feelings and honor them. (If you’re up in Ojai, come do it on our bench:)
Remember, like the dragonfly crawling in the muck at the bottom of the pond, even when you feel stuck, you’re growing your magical wings.
If you have some thoughts or a little muck-to-magic you’d like to share, just wing it in the comment section below. When one of us shares our truth, it lifts us all.
With soaring love,