I don't know if it was planted when you were buried but it seems that way. The tree stands beside your stone twisting and turning, maybe in resemblance to your life. Maybe you were adventurous, always taking different roads. The branches grew up and out embracing your stone as if to protect you. Growing toward the sky praying to God that you would be saved.
Destructive people have desecrated the other gravestones by breaking them and shoving them over. But your tree has made that impossible. It has enveloped you like a mother protecting her new born baby. Your tree has, through the years, grown to protect you as you rest.
Or maybe your tree represents something else entirely different. The possibility that you had been searching for some stability in your life. For some one to shelter you when a gale force was blowing or to shade you from the scorching sun. For some one who would extend their arms and offer you comfort. This tree may be giving you the one thing you had searched for your whole life, security. And now, finally, in the peace of death your tree has fulfilled that desire by offering you eternal security.
You may be thinking that I am writing in an altered state of mind. I can assure you that I am stone cold sober. I was sitting in this grave yard pondering the mysteries of death. I then started to ponder my own death.
When I die I want people to smile remembering happy times we shared. I know some would have a difficult time doing that. My life has been an endless road map. I have been a restless wanderer with a gypsy spirit. There will be those that have loved me all my life despite my disappearing acts. I hope they realize that for one moment, although brief, I had returned that love. But the road I travelled and the path I chose could not include them. When I felt I could stay there was always a sudden detour, a jerk of the wheel, that sent me in a totally different direction. And inadvertently left them standing there wondering what went wrong.
I cannot explain why I was like that. It was just that I had hopes and dreams. I wanted to go some where, become famous. But I will always remain a memory to them. Recalled with a thought, a laugh, or a sad smile.
Then there will be those who hear a name or catch a glimpse of a face and experience deja vu, although they won't remember why. It will be those people that for one brief second our paths had crossed. People who I had been there for in a moment of need and when they turned to find me I was gone. They will never quite remember who they are seeking to recall. I never gave them the chance to get acquainted with me.
I just hope by the time my end is upon me there will be one soul who truly got to know me. Or else I will feel as if I had lived my life in vain. Just one person who can recall a few years of happy memories. Some one who is able to say, "It was good to have shared my time with her". Some one that I will regret leaving behind. Some one who has loved me deeply and for a time I actually returned that love.
So my pondering of death has led me not to lose sight of the things that are important in life. To not defend my heart tooth and nail. To open up a little and let some one in before it is too late. I have known desperate lonliness enough to know that I do not wish to die alone.
These are the random thoughts that ramble around in my mind as I take my long walks through empty and forgotten grave yards. Rest in Peace my friends...until we meet again.
***This was written some time ago in a graveyard in Goshen, NY and due to my failing memory I cannot recall the year.