The Whole Tree

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The way the owners of this property accommodated this tree’s roots registers on some level in my brain every time I walk by. In the back of my mind I’m thinking something like, “Wow, they went to some expense to keep this tree.” Of course, the tree is beautiful and the accommodation artful, plus they get to keep the grace of the tree while gaining a distinctive gate so it’s not like they aren’t richly rewarded many times over for the expense. Still, all that gain doesn’t take away from the embedded message that accommodation is possible, creative and resourceful.  

It was a message that got through to me this weekend. After a family dinner at my house on Saturday, we had a very hard time getting my mother to go back to the skilled nursing facility where she unfortunately needs to be. She was very, very, very unhappy and so as I was hugging her goodbye I started crying, bawling really, which got her crying and so we were two sobbing messes while the rest of my family of non-criers looked on, me hunched awkwardly over Mom’s wheelchair for a really long time. It was a true spectacle of crying.
It’s embarrassing to always be the one so overcome by emotion, but as I was starting to deal with the aftermath of consternation on Sunday, I had a moment of truth. While working through the whole mess of regret, this very column on creative accommodation which I was working on came to mind and with it a spontaneous flash of accommodation for myself. It was a completely unexpected flash of true accommodation for the whole of who I am. As soon as it came, I felt something inside breathe a sigh of relief. There is room that can be made for my excess of tears.
When I think about accommodation, I never think about it in terms of something we grant ourselves. I think about it in terms of what a good and just society does to make sure talent and ability don’t go to waste. If they were to go hand-in-hand I bet we’d all get so much farther.
Note: While the stories in this column are often from my own experience, my intent is for the personal to point to the universal. In that respect, I bet there is something you are not making room for in yourself. I bet if it were okay to be the whole of you are, something inside of you would also breathe a huge sigh of relief. 
To the whole of who we are,