Via Basel: My Glorious Ornamental Pear Tree
In this month on the 11th anniversary of your escape and the 42nd anniversary of your birth, I humbly offer this poem:
My Glorious Ornamental Pear Tree
That was what the arborist called you,
minus the “glorious,” ten years ago.
My beautiful youthful Chris had escaped
the year before, leaving
a large empty hole in my heart,
and three decades worth of memories
dispersed in my body.
At his home,
his imprint was everywhere,
the art on the walls,
the exquisite books in his library,
and the meditation alcove.
And yet I yearned for more,
a living, growing reminder.
You did not disappoint.
From a thin sapling needing support
you flourished with deep roots,
branches wide open, welcoming
me every time I visit.
Now starting your second decade,
tall, mature, and sturdy, you
tower over other trees, his house.
You carry on with grace and strength,
in comfortable and hostile weather
alike, doing what you do best:
Being a tree.
A comfort to a grieving father,
a nesting home to birds,
a playground to squirrels,
and a shade for smaller beings.
The rustling sounds of your leaves
and twigs are music to my ears.
The chimes hanging, a gift from Mary,
providing the melody.
Chris would have loved it all.
Basel Al-Aswad, father of EIL founder Christopher Al-Aswad, is a yogi trapped in an Orthopedic Surgeon’s body. His loves in life include reading, writing, hiking, enjoying nature, meditation, and spending time with his large Iraqi family, and now, semi-retired, he is exploring new avenues in medicine, education, and social engagement.
Christopher R. Al-Aswad
Entered Life July 16, 1979
Escaped Into Life July 27, 2010