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As you love a tree, love me...

Recently I found this piece, written when I was twenty-one years old... The only title on the page was 'What do I want?'

No doubt I wrote it with a lover in mind. Ten years later, I wish to give myself this same love also...

I want someone who isn’t going to measure the physical worth and beauty of my body by how non-existent it is.

Someone who believes in an art of love which gazes through fads, phases, fashions to a place where only the brilliance of my soul and how true I remain to it is beautiful.

Where every inch of my body (few or many) is perfect because that is the way I have naturally grown.

When we were in kindergarten, there was only one right way to draw a tree. It was dead straight, brown, with a bushy cloud-like patch of green on top. As we grew older, we learned there were in fact other ways to draw trees.

I travelled the world and realised that trees everywhere are valued for their uniqueness, their difference from each other and not for their ability to replicate each other and grow the same way. Like so, I want my body to be recognized, appreciated, valued.

As the tree grows older, it changes. Some branches may fall, others appear. Its bark may be stripped away, it may be burned near to ashes and it may lose all its leaves; but even so, it will remain a thing of wonder, of greatness, deserving of respect and awe. So I want it to be with by body as I grow old.

The seasons change, life passes through its natural stages, every one having its own effect. Scars are etched into its bark where neighbouring trees have fallen. Leaves lose their colour; they wither and fall to the ground. And then, after the snow has thawed and sunk into the earth, the sun shines its warmth upon that tree, upon each and every tree, and life continues, ever metamorphosing. So should it be with the seasons of our love.

And you will love me through all my seasons, as the moon waxes and wanes and sun appears in tiny folds of skin around my eyelids and the dimples on my cheek when I smile. These are the carvings life has etched into the bark of being as, like the tree, I grow ever more complex, more lived, more part of the earth and the rhythms of nature; until at last we meld once more into the soil to begin again.

I want you to love me to the end, like one loves a grand, ethereal, ancient beloved tree you remember playing on in your youth. And in your final days, you will hang a hammock from its ever-extending branches, and swing a little in the breeze until you die of bliss, beneath the beauty of a million stories etched into its bark.

To watch the light shine through the dappled leaves and illuminate a beauty that exists solely because it exists nowhere else.

One may search the world over, every forest, every quiet grove by every stream, and never find one single life form that can be said to look exactly the same, or exude the same heat from its roots, or light up quite the same in the presence of the sun.

I want to be loved because I am irreplaceable. I want my body to be loved because nothing, nowhere could ever be the same or have the same effect.

I want you to marvel at my beauty exactly because you can search the world over an never find its twin or inner essence of spirit that makes your heart beat or your smile grow in the exact same way.

And as I grow, as I weave and sow new paths through the veins of life and the seasons of time, I want every outward change in my body to be as a new chapter, a further installment in your favourite book.

I want you to marvel at my body exactly because it is ever changing and, like my soul, my spirit, every tree and flower, beast and stone, and even the very essence of the earth, it will never be exactly the same again.

I want to be loved because I am what I am and have the courage to breath in the elements and live. To become who I became.

I want you to love me beyond earthly concepts such as polarity, good and bad, beginning and ending; in a way in which forever is not only possible, its normal; its moon cycle is understood.

I want you to love me because I am who I am, and not in spite of it.


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