Because they are primeval, because they outlive us,
because they are fixed, trees seem to emanate a sense of permanence.
And though rooted in earth, they seem to touch the sky.
For these reasons it is natural to feel we might learn wisdom from them,
to haunt about them with the idea that if we could only read
their silent riddle rightly we should learn some secret vital
to our real, our lasting and spiritual existence.
Before the sun fell over the edge of the world yesterday, it painted its recently traversed path with reddish-pink and mauve streaks. In between the streaks were smaller golden rays that eventually blended into the pinker bands of light. As these streaks shot up to the sky’s pinnacle, they oozed deliciousness through the open spaces in one of my favorite trees. It’s a sycamore tree directly across the street from our house, and it’s so old that most of its bark has fallen away. When it has, as it has now, lost most of its floppy brown leaves the tree’s strange fruits are more visible as area its long, slender alabaster arms, arms that seem to reach up and caress the heavens’ spacious blue lagoons. Another thing I love about this particular tree is that in winter’s chilling winds its clattering branches seem to whisper prophecies of another spring’s birthing beneath the soil in silent chambers waiting for the prompting of the sun’s warmth on lengthening days and spring rains.
I’m the first one to admit that sometimes I’m hard pressed on difficult days to find reasons to be joyful, but I’m learning to look expectantly as well as long enough to find some measure of God’s glory in the day at hand. When dealing with a run of painful days as I am now, it becomes not only more challenging but also more necessary. The Holy Spirit within is the protector of one’s spiritual flame as well as a guide, and so if one turns inward to look for an appointment of grace, he/she will find what’s needed to press upward and onward. On this day that spark of relief and mercy was found in the beauty of a tree.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalm 118:24 ✝