Skip to main content

A Snow Goose Cherry Tree: Poem #6


The snow goose cherry tree must have greeted my muse. I couldn’t stop thinking about how stunningly elegant it looked with white blossoms blanketed over its branches. Even though I wove in the topic of my illness into the poem, a topic that is serious to me, I wrote the verses with playfulness and joy. Connecting with this strangely named tree felt like taking a healing potion. I insist on having fun while connecting with the verses.

A Snow Goose Cherry Tree Blooms in Winter. ©Lu Sobredo 2020


A snow goose cherry tree touches the heart
Like a lost melody from long ago
Left unsung; longing, yearning to come out.
It seems far-fetched to think
There just might be a link
To winter, the tree and what ails me.

A brisk morning air this winter,
I often encounter soon after
Opening the door, on days I headed over
To a nearby neighborhood pool.

The somber winter and
Pain afflicted frame commingle
Like a cross between tragedy
And melodrama, I kid you not.
So tempting, many a times and oft,
To give in, give up and
Simply stay cocooned in bed to rest
This cold-averse body
Kept company by its wearied soul.

A life-changing condition confirmed  
Many seasons before in mid-summer heat
Like flashes of lightning, it just would not quit.
How could the body’s once healthy      
Immune system so divinely designed
Create havoc? Havoc on itself.

This autoimmune deficiency
Will forever be a reality. The body feels
Naked in winter though fully clothed;
A vulnerability I so loathe. If truth be told,
I long for the vigor of youth,
And yet made peace
With a life at the edge of winter.
Any appearance of spring, I expect to likely
Yield a much different bloom.  

Fighting off bleakness
Is a mental game I’ve played.
I’ve played well and hard. I’ve paid the price
These seven long years
When robbed of normalcy.
Still paying the price
Out of necessity, out of love.
Out of love for a life still filled with so much.
So, I fight. I trudge over bleakness because I must.

Going to the neighborhood pool
Gives respite to bones and joints
In throbbing pain.
Rewarded along the way
When greeted by a snow goose cherry.
This tree, with its coppery-red peeling bark
And scrawny, twisted branches.
Bare and exposed in winter; it calls out to me.
As if to say, I know how it must feel.

Why this tree goes by the name
Of snow goose cherry is not clear at all.
It bears no resemblance to a goose.
It bears no recognizable fruit.
It stands in the land
Where snow doesn’t fall.
A riddle of sorts, an intriguing diversion.

The lonely looking tree mysteriously named
With a not-so-impressive bearing,
Is mostly ignored in the cold.
Except today
When the snow goose cherry,
As if overnight transformed, 
Is now fully in bloom after a long, hard winter.

What a sight to behold!
A regal canopy of white delicate flowers
Astonishes in the edge of winter
At the brink of spring.

I lingered as if in a trance,
Awed by such transformation.
A mild chill of morning air and
A blossoming snow goose cherry tree
Colluded no less
To enkindle bliss like no other.
Pain momentarily subsumed
As there seems to be
This mysterious link that binds
Winter, the tree and what ails me.

Poem & Photo ©Lu Sobredo


Popular posts from this blog

Travel and Why Not?

By Lu Sobredo WELCOME to LuTravelsAbroad Website! What's new with me? TODAY I am exploring possible format/design for my LuTravelsAbroad website, for my Blog and Facebook page. Tickled to be launching a new venture. I have this incredible feeling of drive from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. A similar feeling that came over me when I finally realized I will travel abroad again. Travel while disabled, you might ask? Why not? Mother & Son: Midnight in Paris, ©James Sobredo 2004 WHY A TRAVEL BLOG The Travel Blog and Facebook web presence is meant to be a self-help travel corner, and a vehicle for opening up about my personal health journey. When preparing for the 2016 travel, some websites and travel blogs were a great help. While in Spain as I focused on the moment and less and less on what discomfort to anticipate, I gradually experienced the thrill of traveling. It was then that I began to envision creating a one-stop self-help corner for peopl

Through His Camera Lens: Lights, Landscapes and Life Abroad

by Lu Sobredo ~Celebrating the many dimensions of my husband James Sobredo: his interest, talent and heart as reflected through his camera lens. Introduction Yes, my son and I, and sometimes our friends take very good pictures with our mobile phones. But the person, whose camera lens I totally rely on to document life's moments and special places, is my husband James Sobredo. Being around him and his photography partner and close friend, Steven Montalvo when on their photography shoots, is both meditative and exhilarating to watch. As if their eyes are connected to their hearts. And after many hours and enormous patience, they might be happy with the outcome. I know I am. Folks have asked me why I find blogging so much fun? Other than the fact that: My family actually have visited the amazing places I write about. I get to meet fascinating people and who have become part of my family’s life.  As strange as this sounds, it’s even fun to awkwardly attempt speaking a d

Finding Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum

by Lu Sobredo Viewing Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum. ©Lu Sobredo 2017 "Celebrate the rich diversity of Philippine art with 25 compelling works recently added to the Asian Art Museum’s collection. Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry and textiles; Christian devotional statues from the Spanish colonial period; postwar genre and landscape paintings; and contemporary works come together in this intimate exhibition to tell fascinating and complex stories of the Philippines.” ~ Asian Art Museum Introduction I’m surprised to be hanging out on a Thursday afternoon at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in the middle of summer. Most times, I am there either appreciating some permanent exhibit or being drawn to a special exhibit or event. Sometimes, I could be found simply sitting at the museum Cafe sipping green tea and lingering over an apple almond tart. It is at these moments when I am moved to write. The writing I do these days is for my blog.  

Top 10 Restaurants We Love in Spain

By Lu Sobredo Gastronomy and Spain have become synonymous. Writing this photo essay makes me think of scrumptious meals. My mouth is literally watering with great longing to return.   Since starting my blog in 2016, my husband and I are often asked for recommendation of places to eat when in Spain. I have given recommendations in a private message through my travel Facebook Page: Lutravelsabroad . And I do it happily. But there is no reason to keep our recommendations private. When one finds a gold mine, I believe it is important to share the wealth. My family and I have managed to partake in culinary feasts on a budget when traveling. When we do some modest splurging, it is all planned and calculated into our travel expense. Why not live a little while we still can? If curious, you can still access my first Blog post on the subject: Happy Eating on a Budget in Spain . This earlier essay takes you from the Madrid area and Barcelona, to the Galician region in Santiago de

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Pilgrimage on My Terms (Parts 1 & 2)

By Lu Sobredo PART I Introduction Walking near the border of France and Spain through the Spanish Pyrenees to the city of Santiago de Compostela was not the vacation I envisaged, not for my first trip to Spain in 2010. However, my husband James, the avid adventurer had other ideas born out of an earlier visit to Madrid and Seville in 2006. It was a decision that turned out to be monumental for the family and deeply personal for me. Mother and Son Bonding on the Camino. ©James Sobredo This essay is sprinkled with practical hints from lessons learned in the pilgrimage. It is a personal reflection of the whole experience. It is about the physically challenging, emotionally invigorating, and spiritually uplifting journey. It was an experience made increasingly significant because of a life-changing diagnosis that followed three years later, a diagnosis that has rendered me chronically disabled. I sincerely hope this serves as an important reminder to all: act no

World in Motion: Part I -- Health Storm

WORLD IN MOTION: PART I A health storm descended on my family's lives... By Lu Sobredo The southeasterly wind howled. What has angered it so? The rain wasn’t happy either. The deluge   pounded against the wall near where I slept. There was swaying for sure. Or was I having one of those episodes that compelled my husband to drive me to a nearby hospital? We both agreed my symptoms were alarming enough that warranted a run to the emergency room.   I slowly opened my eyes to get my bearings. Still too dark to be morning. The light from the digital clock reminded me we spent the night in our sailboat. It was 3 a.m., Sunday January 6, 2019. Epiphany Sunday, the feast day for christians to commemorate when God the incarnate revealed as Jesus Christ to the Magi—The Three Kings. Somehow, I felt the Universe was speaking to me in kind words despite the tempestuous weather. Our boat was safely moored. However, the wrath of the storm hitting Northern California made itse

Life With RA: Exercise Strategy That Works, Article #5

LIFE WITH RA: EXERCISE STRATEGY THAT WORKS   Article #5 By Lu Sobredo Why write about exercise if you suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?   Exercise was the last thing on my mind when RA inundated   major joints in my body starting in 2013. Pain was excruciating on both knees, ankles, wrists, fingers and hands. Inflammation and stiffness were so pronounced; I grew resentful over how the disease stole the flexibility my body once knew. Everyday routine did not happen without my husband's help. But I did my best to will my pained body to move. The body gradually adapted to gentle and measured movements. And three years after I began the regimen of medications & treatment, my RA-ridden body gradually stabilized.  There is no cure for what ails me, so who knows what the future holds.  However,  I am convinced that without attempts at movement, the disease could have crippled me irrevocably. With a Physical Therapist Early in RA Treatment. ©James Sobredo