You Are Not a Tree

Please enjoy this encore piece by Ellen Burns who is now adjusting to enjoying a new season of her life as a newly married resident of America!

I’m keenly aware of the seasons.

Each season fills me with a sense of wonder and nostalgia. The overwhelming flooding sensuality of nature is intrinsically linked to so many experiences of growing, from childhood right through to the growing I continue to do….

The threshold and tentative transition between seasons is so evocative…that liminal time – a bit like my favourite time of the day – dusk…that time when spring is turning to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring…mmmmm, the very thought of these fills me with a sensual appreciation and wonder of my surrounding environment.

I have lived in Ireland all my adult life. The seasons here are not as well defined as in other countries, and for me this became a cumulative irritation and even the cause of mild depression…summer can be grey and cold and rainy, winter mild, spring freezing and nondescript…and I have craved a climate where I can ‘depend’ on the seasons. I want to be all hopped up in winter and lightly loosely dressed in summer, I want to light roaring log fires in late autumn and winter, not in July, as I was compelled to do here a couple of summers ago.

Last summer, I made a decision. I decided I didn’t want to spend the entire season ‘hating’ the weather. The previous many years I fought a battle of wills every day – me against the weather. Guess who won? Guess how delightful my summers were? Not very. I am not saying that last summer I was always in a state of joy – there were days that I was pretty miserable when it was freezing and dark, in the middle of July or August – and I have been making it a mission to not spend my summers in Belfast – a dream which this year has finally come true!

However, last year I did, by and large, let go, of my attachments and expectations of the summer. I literally let it all go. I gave it all up.I gave up all the angst, all the ‘should be’s’ and ‘why not’s’, and fully embraced each day as it presented itself to me.  It was not a good summer weather wise. But I did feel a huge weight lift of my shoulders. I gave up all the hopes of picnics and barbeques and pretty summer dresses and brown skin and just bought a big rain coat –  which I wore a lot.

“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” Jim Rohn.

One of my favourite recently discovered quotes. So that is what I am doing….it may not be perfect where I am going either – but I am hoping I will find hot summers and cold winters in America and I know they do both there.

It is the beginning of May…I am still in Belfast…I am leaving soon…I am looking around me at the season shift from spring to summer – I am awash with feelings of tenderness for this water logged and ever ripening landscape. The trees are ancient and green, the roads after rain take on that very Irish summer atmosphere…it is a bittersweet feeling, endless childhood summers spent in rainy Donegal. The thrill of buying a new raincoat, shiny and plastic, that special smell. Welly boots to match. Also a pair of sandals and a summer dress – who knew what the day would bring and which you would wear. More recently the atmosphere reminds me of long and solitary summers of my adult hood as a single parent – living alone and parenting alone – daytrips with friends, gatherings in back gardens when the weather permitted, longing for something else, for something more, but always delighting in the smells of the rain on the damp grass, or the occasional hot day, walks along the tow path, the Avalon lushness, gatherings in the bar by the river, the dusky atmosphere of Botanic Avenue on a night out…. Relentlessly walking the streets of Belfast, to and from the University…I think I like it more now that I am leaving…I am taking lots of pictures…I feel nostalgic even before I have left…it is very cold here.


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:


Dr. Ellen Anne Burns is an actress, writer, mother, teacher, and student, not necessarily in that order. She was brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she has just completed her PhD in Applied Drama. She believes in a holistic spiritual practice, involving meditation, self love and discovery, learning and practicing forgiveness, gratitude and love every day. Ellen wishes to support and guide others on their own journey of self and love, especially with a view to romantic relationships. She is a mentor on Gabrielle Bernstein’ and is thrilled to be one of the founding members of The Daily Sisterhood Blog. If you wish to contact Ellen please message her here, and she will respond as soon as she can.


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