Walnut Trees, Fall & Field Hockey

Wendy Orrison

Wendy Orrison

By: Wendy Orrison
Head Field Hockey Coach

The other afternoon I was driving home and noticed a bunch of dead leaves in the road, I thought “Oh dear, that tree is failing.” But then I realized that it was a Walnut, one of the first trees to give up its leaves each fall.  The very next morning Tiffany (field hockey assistant) commented to me, as we trudged up the hill past the tennis courts, “There is a tree losing its leaves.” How nice to work with someone who takes the time to notice the change of seasons and to see the first leaves drop.  That’s why I work in Division III because I have time to look up and see the mountains and the glory around me.

Each night as I make the 30 minute drive home, I feel renewed and strengthened by the beauty and majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the setting sun, the clear crisp air and the knowledge of my family awaiting my arrival.  Put a little Bonnie Raitt or Old Crow Medicine show on –entirely too loud- and life is pretty darn perfect.

Anyway back to the Walnuts.  I commented to Mike, my husband (an arborist), that I had noticed that the Walnuts were losing their leaves already.  He mused about the fact that a Walnut only holds it leaves for about 6 months of the year.  The other 6 months of the year the tree is shutting down and preparing for winter or conversely it is warming up and preparing for summer.  Field hockey, and other fall sports, are like the Walnut tree.  We spend about 9 months of the year getting ready: recruiting, watching film, making calls, scouting, etc. then our season plays out in 3 short months.

Friends and colleagues always ask me in July and August if I’m ready…so ready!  I get tired of all the planning; let’s go play, let’s go see if those recruits meet our expectations, let’s see if our scouts prepared us well for each game. Let’s play field hockey!  Then, because I love the season so much, it goes way too fast.  Time flys by and if I’m not careful it slips by without me living in the moment.  Before I can believe it or be ready for it, the tournaments and season ending meetings will be upon me.

Just as I make time to notice the mighty walnut, the beautiful mountains, and the sunsets; I must remember to make time to enjoy each game, cherish every team dinner, and listen at each and every individual meeting.  Before I know it, our leaves will be falling as we prepare to enter post season.


2 Responses to “Walnut Trees, Fall & Field Hockey”

  1. JMB Says:

    Great post, Wendy! Can’t wait to follow the lady Generals as they reclaim the ODAC. Good luck this weekend!

  2. Sarah E. Tilbor Says:

    OCMS?! I love it!!!! What a beautiful piece of writing. Say hi to the Blue Ridge for me 🙂

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