November 2015. All seemed dark until I saw the tree. It was in the back of Princes Street Gardens, lining the walking path behind the Christmas market. Until I saw the tree, I felt alone. Sad. Hopeless. The world was bleak, and the wave of impending doom seemed inescapable, even in Edinburgh. Hate. Fear. Bombs. Death. Paris. Brussels. Russian jets. Donald Trump. Uncle Jerry. Pain. Loss. Loneliness. Age.
And then I saw the tree, an alien bulging out of its trunk. A fish head. Admiral Ackbar. That’s what it looked like. At first, I thought it was an embellishment, a bizarre art installation. But it wasn’t. It was the tree, in all of its natural glory. And suddenly, inexplicably, the world was a glorious place to live, again.
I don’t know why the tree changed my perspective. All I know is that I saw beauty in its oddity. And that made me feel better about myself. I looked up and saw its crooked, gnarled limbs reaching up for the blue sky, and I found my joy again.
All was right with the world. It’s about moving in moments, I realized.