The truth is… I’m not much of a gardener. But I am a major tree lover. In fact, I think trees are just about my very favorite things in life, …well, next to my family, friends and perhaps a tasty piece of homemade pumpkin pie, of course!
It’s just that trees are such incredible botanical creatures! You find them in every imaginable climate and setting, short of the South Pole! And some of them live for thousands of years enduring all kinds of abuse from droughts to floods, forest fires, lightning and attacks from armies of voracious insects. They battle and often win against all of these, and only man is beyond their ability to conquer.
And what they provide us is beyond compare. They give us all kinds of fabulous fruits and nuts, from dates and mangoes, to pecans, oranges and avocados. And they fight erosion by holding the earth in place thus keeping our soil and all the valuable nutrients it holds from washing away.
And what about their beauty?! Wow! Spectacular! And what variety, from tropical trees dripping with profusions of orchids, to the silent ancient Redwood Giants of the Great Northwest?
Like little creatures we stand beneath their majesty and beauty and feel their living essence and power, and cannot deny the creative source that brings forth all this magnificence and abundance.
And how about breathing?! Now there’s something that deserves a little of our appreciation! For it’s trees and plants that create for us the very life giving oxygen we must have to sustain our lives! So with just a bit of thought we can see that trees are not something separate from us, but rather they are something we are in a life sustaining relationship with.
So all that brings me back to what originally got me thinking about trees here this morning in the first place. Sitting on our sunny porch provides a southern view that includes a number of pink flowered locust trees that grow on a steep slope. Well last year we had some strong winds for a couple of days and one of the young, five year old Locust trees was snapped completely off, destroying the top ten feet of the tree and leaving only an ugly three and half foot branchless trunk. It was a sad sight. So I chopped up and cleared away the debris and said a little prayer for what was left.
Well guess what happened? The next year the little tree came back like gangbusters! It went from zero branches to 15 branches in only one season and nearly doubled its size! And, it really looks great! Obviously, it’s very healthy. And WHY is that? It’s because that, after it recovered from its great trauma and loss, it had a large trunk and a highly developed root system that gave it the strength and will to start life over.
So can you see that this little tree has something to teach us? It points out to us that we, too, can not only recover from great injuries and trauma, whether they are physical or emotional, but that we can draw on the wisdom and will power that we’ve garnered over the years to help encourage us to pick up the pieces and start our lives over. And not just start over, but make our lives even better than they ever were in the past! And I can enthusiastically attest to this from personal experience!
For as a very wise woman once pointed out to me that, “an easy life is not a victorious life!” Because, as souls we are put here in the school of life to see if we can conquer our ego’s weaknesses by valiantly battling life’s greatest enemies of self-pity, moods, greed, lack of self-control, ignorance and indifference. And finally, when we do slay all these villains on the battlefield of life, we can then take with us as our permanent reward the soul conquering treasures of unconditional love, unbounded compassion, vast wisdom and unending joy.
I’m John Johnston See you next time, here, On the Cosmic Porch!