Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One girl in... a birch tree.

So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles
With the cobwebs Broken across it,
And one eye is Weeping from a twig's
Having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

--from Birches, Robert Frost

My blue hammock swung back and forth against the weight of my foot as I read this poem out loud to a group of fellow travelers. Argentina. One month ago. I met a young man with a book of Frost. In English. I never understood the desire of a book written in a native dialect until Argentina.

I read Birches for the first time in the ninth grade. The book I found it in weighed 15 pounds and I carried it for over two months, solely for those 59 lines that whispered to me. I have no clue why I never ripped out the two pages, though I did steal the whole book in the end.

Back in Argentina, I climbed a tree the following afternoon. I had not stepped hand nor foot into a tree since my childhood of swinging off the pecan tree in my parent's back yard.

I don't know what it is about climbing trees that makes one disappear into another world. Frost writes it right; it is going to another place for a while, then coming back down to begin over.
Beginning over. I had never considered my arrival back to the United States a moment of starting a new. Little did I know.

Last week, I rode down Walnut Ave. to AutoZone with my 46-year-old friend who held in his hand the passenger side door handle of my car. I would like to say twas his strength that outdid the 17-year-old knob, but the door was locked when he attempted to exit.

During our excursion, he asked me if I missed blogging.
If I missed sharing my adventures from Argentina.
I said yes, but that there is nothing to blog and share about in Dalton.
His advice was simple:
Just don't stop writing.

I believe that life has a timing for everything. You meet, read and discover things with timing. Sometimes the moment is wrong. Other times, perfect. I had forgotten about this poem until I read it in Argentina. I read it with impeccable timing.

I am one girl in a birch tree. Coming back down from an experience that has shaped me so much I am not sure which way is coming or going. Though, I do know that Earth is the right place for love-- whether that be love for a person, place or for me, my writing.

Treat this as my welcome post to One Girl In.
I will not stop writing.
Because I agree with Frost, one could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

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