For the last fourteen years, I’ve had a day where I’ve stood between two days, looking back and looking ahead. Today is that day. Fourteen years ago when I looked back at that “yesterday” and ahead to that “tomorrow,” I didn’t know that I would come to call it my Bookends Day. I didn’t know at the time that a final chapter had been written… that the baby born on June 29th would be my last living baby. And when I looked ahead to “tomorrow” that day, I was amazed that my first baby would be twenty two. Twenty two and expecting his first baby to be born just weeks later.
Very early this morning, the trucks were rolling down the lane and the chainsaws began to hum. I knew this day was coming and I’d so dreaded it. I cried at the thought of wrecking the very tree that drew me to this home. I stood in the yard today, watching several guys work for many hours cutting the trees. Huge limbs from the giant weeping willow tree thudded to the ground in our side yard. In the end, they removed twenty feet from the tree’s height. “Such a magnificent tree” one of the tree guys had commented. Yes, I said, It’s the prettiest tree in the valley.
And now it’s not. It’s a silly looking tree now. But, you know, I sure am thankful tonight to still be able to see it—God in His mercy reminded me of His great provision several times today as I thought of my friends in Wenatchee who’ve been evacuated from their home due to severe wild fires. For the first time ever, that willow tree was just a tree. I needed it to be just a tree today. On the Bookends Day. I needed it to mark the end of a season. I needed it to come to being just a tree. And I needed to be reminded that I have been so extremely fortunate, all these years, to sleep under the canopy of the prettiest tree in the valley. If I never slept under it another day, I’d be no less fortunate.
In the middle of the day, our mail lady delivered letters and packages. My husband handed me one of them and said it was a gift for me… perfume… the perfect gift for today… I’m so glad it had somehow been delayed in arriving. Among the other packages in the mail today was another gift for me, only I didn’t know it at the time. When our daughter came home, she brought me one of the packages and, in the marvelous timing of the Lord, the package contained a book — a book of photographs taken here a few weeks ago when all the family (and spouses and children) had gathered for an evening photography session. Page after page of pictures of the house and yard that built our family. It was so timely to receive that gift on this day, Bookends Day, the day between yesterday and tomorrow.
I marveled today that the cutting of the willow tree and several others, was yet another tangible display of the end of a season. The trees will never be the same again. This home will never be the same again, I thought. I was thankful for the Lord to show me that and to make it so that I couldn’t wonder if the season had really come to a close or not.
It’s odd and it’s right that our oldest girls are moving to their own home and that this is their last night “at home.” It’s odd and it’s right that this would happen on Bookends Day. There are no coincidences, only Co-incidents. Tears and laughter, joy and sorrow, each season is filled with these… and it’s odd and it’s right.