A New Orleans Oak Tree named “Lady Lola”

I love that I can come back to a piece of my life, a moment that some may not think is worth penning to paper, but there’s something so special reconnecting with this old twisted oak tree.

I was once a curious little girl who sat, climbed and jumped from this tree, with every footstep upon its limbs, I would wonder & sometimes ask the tree “How did you get all bent and twisted? Did someone plant your seed sideways??”

As you know the tree was always silent, but my Mama and Daddy would tell me life did it to the tree. I can feel my face squishing up as it is now and wonder why would life do that and how can it happen to such a big strong tree.???

I learned that I am just like this strong twisted, bent, deformed, warped, crooked old oak tree…Life came along, you know the not so good parts of life, the rainy days and sleepless nights had taken affect on my body as well. I would endure, shake it off, suffering, losing my mind and at times I was on the cliff of giving up, because not only did life affect my body, but it warped my heart.

So, there I stood like this twisted old oak tree, still standing, yes, bent crooked and scarred but I’m still surviving, still beautiful, still a place of comfort for those who come to see me.

Like this twisted old oak tree you will see that we both continue to grow, continue to love the soil we sink our roots in, we still extend our branches of love and support to all, even finding the courage to bend so low that it hurts our trunk, the pain we say is only temporary, because the fruit that we bear will feed who’s below and feeding a soul is a part of our purpose here.

Like this twisted old oak tree, I am still here, I left NOLA but she stayed securely planted, awaiting for my return. She stayed waiting to hear all that experience and she would share her story of survival as well.

We both survived the hurts of the storms, the 100 degree heat of rejection, the below zero cold that freezes and cracks the heart, she watched the flooding of our loved ones lives, the hurricanes that came to take families legacy away. She watched, stood planted only, because she knew I would return and others too.

Now I sit at the womb of this old oak tree, silently listening to her words of wisdom. She spilling the sweet tea straight from her soul. Shes prepping me on how to keep surviving the important tasks that lay ahead. She reminds me that people will look at me as they do her, thinking she can’t do anything, because of life’s outside deformity of her outer core, but she states she’s capable of doing it all, because it comes from within. “They can’t see beyond the crook in your back, but that’s your advantage and you market on it, sweetheart” she whispers to my soul.

This twisted old oak tree wants me to return with my seeds, so that they may try to trace where here crook in her trunk began and the only way I can do that is to survive and stop the gentrification of my people and my land.

So, like this twisted old oak tree I will keep my branches extended to the sky, praising my God for the life that He entrusted me with. I told her I will try not to complain when life settles in my bones and bends me once more….

I named this tree “Lady Lola” she can be found at City Park right by the playground, by the pavilion and Morning Call restaurant.

Lady Lola

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