A few Marches ago, we planted Hollies, Crepe Myrtles – and long-awaited Leland Cyprus trees. My teen sons helped us move these huge trees with huge rootballs, bemoaning the whims of moms but kind of proud of their strength.
I’m sure they loved being physically stronger than mom. It made them walk a bit taller.
My husband, well, he didn’t really want the trees, but he helped me plant my dream.
I spent days basking in their beauty, anticipating their towering growth. Kind of like raising sons – you know their potential. It is just a matter of helping them grow there.
[Growing in grace]they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap (of spiritual vitality) and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment] (Psalm 92:14)
It wasn’t 2 weeks later when the edge of spring revealed it’s two-faced nature – and brought a snow storm, filled with some ice – and ravaged the work of my dreams.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7)
We lost one Japanese Maple. The other, I wouldn’t let my husband tear out – we cut it back to the root and hoped.
My Leland Cyprus’s, so new to their new home, roots not quite deep enough or burrowed in enough were bruised with the onslaught. They really weren’t prepared for the unexpected.
As Spring slunk out of town like a seedy criminal, taking advantage of townsfolk shock– Famine and Drought rode into town.
The Japanese Maple with the deep roots and recently cut-back limbs – it flourished in these hard times.
One Leland Cyprus, though, it suffered, while it’s sister Cyprus flourished. Half it’s branches turned brown.
Twice daily, I pulled out my hose and left it to water for 30 minutes, pulling off the dead leaves, whispering encouragement, whispering hope.
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains”(James 5:7)
Today that Cyprus, a bit smaller than it’s sibling tree, sways with abandon in the blustery Winds of Spring time, standing confident in the two-faced nature of Spring time. . . because its root system is deep.
It no longer needs me.
“Behold, [I will liken you] to Assyria, a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches and with forestlike shade and of high stature, with its top among the thick boughs (even among the clouds]. The waters nourished it; the deep made it grow tall; its rivers ran round about its planting, sending out its streams to all the trees of the forest [the other nations]” (Ezekiel 31: 3-4)
Last night, my littlest guy, he climbed the larger tree, upward, laid in its boughs and hollered to us, as we planted 15 burning bush and 3 forsythia rootballs.
With laughing eyes, we both looked at our son, finding joy in what we planted, nurtured and sustained in hope and faith. Raising boys and trees – similar journey’s, both facing challenges – both showing the redeeming love of a mighty, compassionate, healing God.
This week needed a moment just like that! Thank you Father!
“For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations” (Isaiah 61:11)
BTW – if it snows in the next 10 days, can I start predicting snow by my tree planting? I’m thinking so!