I wanted to drive out to the Gowdy Tree Farm to get a tree grown on the land that my maternal family homesteaded five generations ago. I am the first of the fifth generation.
2020 was their first year to be open and I kept thinking how fun it would be to drive to what used to be my grandpa and grandma’s place. Driving 45 miles to purchase our Christmas tree would be the farthest we’d ever driven to choose a tree. We discussed the necessity of driving slowly all the way home with the tree on top.
But I didn’t realize they were only going to be open for a few days. When I found out they were closed, I thought: “You missed your chance!”
I tried to not be hard on myself. I told myself that a person doesn’t always get what they want. I tried to let go. But I kept thinking and yearning to have a tree grown on the land that had been so important to my mother’s side of the family and land that I had loved to visit as a child. Land that had a tree with a big curve the Grandma’s dog Gus could climb. Land where my grandparent’s travel trailer was stored by the back door, the perfect playhouse for me that was close enough to the summer kitchen housing the chest freezer full of frozen fudge that I could secretly savor.
The memories kept coming. I wasn’t having much luck letting go of having a Gowdy Christmas tree. I remembered how my analyst used to say that I had “BIG WANTS”. This felt like a big want. Many times when she made this interpretation of my behavior, I wondered what the problem was. In this case, I decided there was no problem with my desire.
I decided to call my favorite cousin Kevin, the Kevin Gowdy of the tree farm, and see if they had any trees left and if so, could we could drive out on Saturday to pick it up. He seemed excited when he said yes and yes. I was thrilled.
If you live in Central Iowa, you know what we woke up to Saturday morning. Four inches of wet, sticky snow. Kevin said the roads were drifted shut in some places so we shouldn’t come.
I was disappointed. This time I remembered how my analyst helped me discern that being disappointed didn’t mean I had done anything wrong. That to feel disappointed was not a crime.
To make a long story short, On the next Sunday, Kevin harvested a tree, our tree, and on Monday, drove it to our house! When we tried to pay him, he refused saying he was not going to charge the first of the fifth-generation!
I love this tree – it is a Canaan Fir. Thank you Kevin for such a great gift.