Dangerous Compassions


“Has your loquat tree fruited yet?” I asked my friend.  These friends here in Tucson, I’ve always loved their garden.

“No,” she said.  “Do you want to talk to it?”

“Yeah,” I said.  Usually people don’t invite me to talk to their trees.  We went over to the loquat tree, and I touched a branch.  It’s three years old.

“You are so beautiful, and so wanted.  Sweet little tree, you have a good life ahead of you.  You can give good fruits.  You’re safe here.  We want you here, and we love you.”

“Yes, very wanted,” my friend said.  She was standing nearby, witnessing the tree conversation.


It was funny because the day before, I was sitting on the porch at this airbnb, writing a letter to a different friend, someone up north, who spent time here in Tucson also.  I told that northern friend there’s a lemon tree at the corner of the airbnb property, and I wanted to go talk to the lemon tree.  But I knew if I did, I’d want to pick one of the lemons.

So I’d already been thinking about talking to trees.  Later I asked Ming if my Tucson friend had meant I might sternly talk to the loquat tree, asking it to fruit.  Was it a joke I misunderstood?

But maybe my friend knows I’m a witch and talk to all the plants.  I’m crying because this friend is very honored in my heart.  The altar inside me has her picture, and I leave a flower every day.  A mother goddess for sure.

And mothers are breaking my heart lately.  I’m walking around with my heart broken, wishing for all the moms to love me.

Then the words I spoke to the young tree are words I think all people should be welcomed with.  So I tried to be mom to the tree.

I can still feel how the branch felt in my hand, as I encouraged it and loved it in that moment, whether it decides to flower and fruit or not.


I told Ming all this, and he didn’t understand why I was crying.  No, it didn’t hurt me, really, what happened with my friend.  It hurts my mom died, so I’m walking around with his horrendous wound.  And anything that touches that wound hurts.  Healing or cleaning it hurts.

Facing the reality is overwhelming.  But I’m here to feel.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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