By JG Lewis
There is a tree on the highway between Brandon and Winnipeg—one I have passed hundreds of times, which marks the halfway point of the journey.
Roots deep and strong, the tree has been there my whole life, surviving deep-freeze winters, occasional drought, and the widening of the highway. It is an important tree, familiar to anybody who grew up in the area. Mention “the tree” and people immediately know where you were.
The landmark helped answer the ‘how much farther’ question from a restless kid in the back of a sweltering station wagon, and came in handy on any of the bloodshot drives across the barren prairies at 4 a.m., winter or summer.
The tree is a part of me, even now, if only in memory.
It’s too bad there aren’t more trees in our lives, markers to let us know something is halfway done. Yes, we have battery meters that let us know when our laptop or personal device is running low, gas gauges in the car, and clocks and calendars, but we need more organic clues to help us navigate this journey.
Don’t we often question if the glass is half empty, or half full?
We tend to do things differently when we get onto the second half of anything. Knowing there is only one more lap around the track, we naturally pick up the pace to put in our best performance? If we are caught up in a particularly enjoyable evening, don’t we tend to ease up a little at the halfway point, trying to stretch out the pleasure to avoid the inevitable?
There can be increased optimism if something is nearly done, or added sadness because time is expiring. If we don’t know where we are, how can we know how to react?
June is, for all intents and purposes, the halfway point of the year. By its very nature it is a wonderful month for reminding us where we have been, and what we have done, while still allowing time to look ahead at the possibilities. Summer comes with June: and color, and optimism. Longer days allow a review of the grief and glory we have experienced, and provide increased light to renew your intentions and review your values.
This month is a pulse check. How is your heart beating? What remains unfinished, what is still undone, what more can you do? How will you do it?
Should you even bother? Of course there are more questions, but there is still time for answers.
Editor: Dana Gornall