Legacy by Sara Wright

When I planted my cedar
in the garden
it seemed like an odd place –
Why bury her amongst
 a plethora of summer flowers
unless I feared she’d disappear?
I was afraid to name her –
 When delicate fronds
 dulled, turned brown
I despaired.

Weeks passed.
I considered pulling
her up by the roots.
‘Replace her’,
an unpleasant voice nagged.
But another chimed in.
‘Give her time; be patient.
 Wait and see.’

 I listened to the
Voice of Patience
knowing how much
 I needed to learn.

All winter I walked by
 brushing ice crystals
 from frozen lacy fingers.
When April came
the absence of rain
unraveled the spring.

Fierce northwest winds
 bent and battered my tree –
a slender “Y” shaped canopy
  supported by one
 thin skinned stem…

I tended to roots
covering them with mulch,
watered her daily.
When one
 filigreed tip
unfurled followed by
another, I
‘She’s alive
and Greening!’

Now the circle
 has closed
She’s been
with me a year.
New growth has
 rounded her form –
As a burgeoning tree
 she’s thriving….

Lately, I have been
 missing my mother
who also loved these trees…
 But she left me
 before my birth –
with broken promises
 –  and a Judas kiss.
Unprotected, I floundered.
I couldn’t force her to love me…
When she died I felt relief.

 Today I imagine
 conjuring her up
as Wise Woman, Seal,
a Guardian  
who could teach me
how to mother myself.
 Perhaps I can find
by loving the woman
 she could have been
 and the body
 of my tree.

Abandonment is a curse we don’t outgrow. Not being loved by our mothers follows us all the days of our lives. I used to think I would grow out of this need – that the abandoned child would recede, but instead she continues to follow me wherever I go. Recently, I realized that my only hope was to grow my own version of a loving mother, and that I needed to begin that process by turning to my mother and my Motherline for help as well as to the trees I call ‘my mothers’.

I have loved trees all my life and cedars in particular. Amazingly, it was years before I remembered that my mother loved them too. Once when she was about 60 my mother brought me a cedar seedling in a clay pot. I dutifully planted the tree. I had no idea why she brought me this cedar. We had a one-sided relationship; myquestions were not encouraged.

That incident occurred more than 40 years ago, but I am still planting cedars… I think the trees I used to call “The Mothers” were my ‘natural mothers’ but also were the women of my Motherline that always seemed too far removed from me, probably because my mother taught me to reject them as she did. Today, my intention is to draw them in along with my mother in a different form. Perhaps my mother even demonstrated her love when she was alive by gifting me with a tree?  

Women and trees are woven together like a tapestry.


Sara is a naturalist, ethologist (a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.

Author: Sara Wright

I am a writer and naturalist who lives in a little log cabin by a brook with my two dogs and a ring necked dove named Lily B. I write a naturalist column for a local paper and also publish essays, poems and prose in a number of other publications.

6 thoughts on “Legacy by Sara Wright”

  1. That’s pretty astounding that your mother brought you that cedar tree in a clay pot. Perhaps something moved to her to leave you a pathway to finding her love. I have a belief based on my Hawaiian work that we have our higher selves – our amakuas that guide us, sometimes in mysterious ways.

    My mother was also one who abandoned me from a love POV. After she died I got this most unmistakable message of her presence (I working on writing about it in a way that makes sense to others since its a complicated story). She died a little over three years ago. This happened just a little before the one year anniversary of her death. I am choosing to think of it as a message of love that she sent me now that she is in a space where her human woundings are not getting in the way of her higher self, and can now express that love she never could in life.

    I concur with you that what your mother couldn’t express outright, her amakua could and guided her to give you that gift. I honor your work Sara and your love in sharing your pathway with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely response – and I think it carries truth – there is something that happens at death that can allow healing energy to come in – I had unfortunate relationships with both parents but after my father died I had a vivid dream in which he no longer wore glasses and could see me for who I was – that dream healed a broken relationship on some levels – not so with my mother who still comes through dreams as a dark (not in positive sense) figure) and yet we had a peculiar underground relationship with plants – that tree might have been part of it. I would like to think so…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a beautiful dream of your father seeing you for who are you. That a treasure! I hope you can find the same sort of healing with your mother. I do see the underground relationship with plants as fertile (pun intended) ground for this process. I hope it will be so! Blessings.


        1. My mother has been dead since 1993 – I can’t remember the exact words Carol used but one response of hers to my relationship with my mother was that sometimes acceptance of what is is more important than yearning for what is not…


  2. How interesting that trees are mothers. How tall do you think the cedar you describe is going to grow? Is that growth symbolic of motherlove? Yes, I’m sure we’re all enjoying reading about your path and how you’re sharing it with us. Bright blessings to you and the flowers and the cedar.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Barbara, as usual thank you… yes tree mothers are very real for some of us. Renowned Forest Scientist Suzanne Simard wrote a book called “Finding the Mother Tree”… what a read/it’s a powerful memoir about her struggle to be recognized as a scientist that most professional women can identify with – though the “Wood Wide Web” has become a catch word for many almost no one attributes this phrase to her although the Nature/prestigous scientific journal published part of her PhD thesis using those words. It turns out that trees actually nurture their young – send nutrients their way, and as they are dying transfer carbon to their young (as well to other trees). Maybe some of us, if we are abandoned pick up the tree mothers in some way??? Trees take a long time to grow and cedars are not fast growing trees so I won’t live to see this one as an adult but I take great pleasure in each new green twig!


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