Soul-O Time and Barren Trees

by Melody Jean

As I sit here and write this morning, with my piping hot mug of hazelnut coffee and the sun rising, there is no place I’d rather be. Waking several hours earlier than needed, I do this every day, just for this time. For this time is mine alone and that of nobody else. It’s what I call my soul-o time.

morningscenescontemporaryseekerI stopped for a moment just now, to look out the window, at the sunrise, and I couldn’t help but to feel a sense of irony despite the beauty before me. Every day the sun rises, you see, yet on days like today when the sky is not completely darkened with clouds, the light shines through.

And even though today, the light chose to peek down on me, it does so through barren trees. Winter will do this to them, the trees. Yet come spring they will be full of life once again. Sparse as they are, I still see magnificence. I was stopped by this for a moment, and felt compelled, at the very least to write my thoughts and capture this moment with my smartphone camera. The result is the picture in this post.

This gorgeousness flashed me back to yesterday and to a question I was asked “how are you?” As simple as the question sounds, I paused for some time before I responded because the person asking deserved a thorough answer. In reality, studies show that the response to this question is often the number one lie people tell. The answer is usually “I’m good” when in fact most often people are not so.

I finally responded, “It took me a bit, because I want to provide an honest answer. I’m good. A lot is going on, mostly good, some that needs attention, but I’m finding an okay place for most things, I guess. I kind of feel like I’m at the start of something new, so with that comes some sadness and excitement. Almost as if I’m moving on in a way. Does that make sense?”

As I look out the window, I realize that my response is depicted in the splendor and solemnness of the scene outside my window and motivated me to write the sonnet below.

Barren Trees

Like the sun each day

I have an opportunity to rise

peek through the clouds

if circumstances allow


I feel my soul

through barren trees

as the light shines in and out

all around, and through me


The prettiness of my soul

emits a radiance in an afterglow

despite the winter mood that I hone


Every day this opportunity is a choice for me

and it’s through the clouds, the trees

that I labor to bring this forth for you and for me


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


Every morning I, too, peer through a bamboo shade covering the bedroom window closest to my bed and I see darkness just before sunrise. The silouette that peers back at me is that of my favorite tree standing in my side yard; a huge, gorgeous, majestic oak tree, which stands about 100 feet reaching up toward the dark sky, flexing its muscles of strength, endurance, and wisdom as bestowed upon it by what may be several hundred years of standing in that side yard. A creation of Mother Nature who is a disciple of God, who has given her the task of creating natural beauty and bounty for us to become stewards of.
Try as I might, at the same time that I’m thanking God for another day and praying for the blessings of my son and his beautiful family, my wise and inspirational 80 year old mom, and my ever-present and supportive sister, I also pray for peace of mind, heart and soul. I pray for the release from the strangle-hold of anxiety and fear that I experience every day as I peer out of that window through the bamboo shade. I have a deep-seated pain from the thought of not having a male partner and companion to share this moment and the rest of the day and maybe even the rest of my life with me. With all the blessings I already have in my life such as family, relatively good health, secure shelter and food, my own business, and a few friends with whom I feel comfortable and love enough to share my life’s victories and its defeats, there is still a gaping hole that remains open like an unhealing burn wound. I do know that I’m not alone nor isolated from the rest of the world. However, the mind can either be our greatest friend or our worst combatant. And if not reigned in, the mind can take us to dark places that we don’t want to visit nor become a permanent resident of. It’s a battle not so easily fought, but not necessarily lost. It takes a strong constitution and stubborn determination to fight these negative emotions that feel like demons trying to take over my thoughts. Elements that are totally created in the mind by the fear of loneliness and disconnect.
Yes, peering through the bamboo shade covered window should bring the hope and exhilerating expectation of another chance at life and all its splendor. And yes, the huge majestic oak tree should represent the boundless and renewable positive energy of natures magnificance as the tree loses the old branches and sprouts the birth of new branches as seasons change and spring approaches. But in the mind of someone who struggles to see nothing further than that of the distance between the window to that tree, it is very difficult to see through the barren branches and see, actually see, the horizon as the light of a new day breaks through the dark dawn sky and brings up the sun to open the world of opportunities as a blessed gift from God.

Thank you for this opportunity,


Melody Jean

Hi Bella,

Thank you for sharing your feelings. It was beautiful and sad in the same vein. I’ve come across time and again that mystics maintain pain helps draw us closer to the light. Perhaps this pain of lonliness which you express is guiding you to where you need to be. I hope that soon you will be able to see clear, admist any obstruction; whether tree, or your own mind-set, to the beautiful horizon of opportunity. Don’t give up. I wish you well on your internal search.


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