I suppose Healing Tree began somewhere in my heart and worked its way to productive thinking about sustainability at a point when I could apply it to the land behind our house. Unfortunately, we had to sell that beloved space and move on; abandoning our hard work, but holding firm to the mission of Healing Tree.
While we were away in North Carolina, we received a package from our old address. Inside the box was a child-sized weeding fork and a note from the new owners. The letter said that the fork had been discovered out back after the spring thaw. It was broken, but the owner mended it and sent it to the address on our closing papers.
When I first picked up the small tool, my heart swelled. It had been my dream to teach our girls alongside the land and here we were miles from any open spaces, tucked away in a corporate landscape far from home. I held the fork a long while and felt my hope renewed, as I knew we would once again establish the farm.
Last night I dreamed I returned to the house and saw the land behind it flourishing with new vegetation, flora and butterflies whose wings flickered color on the wind. It was beautiful. When I awoke, I told my eldest daughter about the dream. Her face bore a look of surprise and said she had also dreamed we had returned to the house to live. At the time, I did not know what this dream might mean.
And then today I was busy unpacking yet another box. This time unwrapping photos and fragile items we’ve collected over the years. At the bottom of the box, wrapped tightly was the small weeding fork. I unwrapped it and examined it carefully, then set it down upon Grandma’s old upright piano. There was soft glow to wood as if it had been made whole again in more than just the physical and I realized the significance of the dream.
We may not return to the house and land we loved, but we will return to the farm someday. We will return to the land; another section, but still connected to our former land; to all land. And when we return, so will begin a new season at Healing Tree and a new chapter to our life story. All this the fork represents – the altering of paths, the tilling of soil to breathe new life into the roots, our roots.
The farm is more than just the physical. A large part of Healing Tree is within the hearts and minds of those who continue the journey – Some on foot, some in writing, others in their song or art.
“In healing, we are teachers and in teaching, may we heal.”