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Monday, May 9, 2011

Trees I Have Known and Loved

Turning into my driveway this evening I was awed at the beauty of the trees surrounding me. The dogwood's white flowers and umbrella magnolia's dinner-plate size creamy, yellow blooms against the deep green backdrop were absolutely spectacular! As so many times before, I paused and gazed up at them, putting my window down to breathe in the air freshly oxygenated by their remarkable ability to photosynthesize.

 After a few moments I continued up the driveway. In the front yard of my house a Pawley's Island hammock is hanging between two magnificent oaks. It sags a little in the middle, waiting for one of us to return to its soothing and be refreshed. One of my favorite activities; or maybe it would be more correctly called one of my favorite inactivities, is to lie in that hammock and contemplate the beauty of the leaves against a clear azure sky or sometimes to wrangle out the next chapter of a book. If you walk around to the back of my house you'll find a bench hidden in my "prayer garden" and you guessed it- surrounded by more trees.

I absolutely love trees; their strength, their beauty, their quiet, their patience as they just stand there in one place all of their lives content in being what they were called into existance to be. Oh, the lessons we could learn from a tree.

When we moved here from our home of sixteen years it was very hard to leave behind the sugar maple in the backyard where our children had spent so many happy hours swinging. On the side of the house was a mimosa that was believed by my children to be the best "climbing" tree in the whole world. We have many pictures with our children  and their friends sitting in the crook if its boughs smiling. When it bloomed each year in July I was convinced I was getting a whiff of Heaven. How could I leave this tree behind? It had become like part of the family.

To ease the ache of leaving, I planted several seedlings from "Mama Mimosa" for our new home. Shortly after we moved while contemplating where we should plant them my husband looked up at the forest surrounding our new home and said, "Yep, that's just what we need here a few more trees." You see, he likes trees, but he doesn't understand them the way I do.

Someone once asked me if I was a druid.
I had to stop and explain, while druidry holds some intriguing ideas; lovely thoughts of simplicity blended with sunrises, love and compassion mingled with hugging trees and the sound of trickling water, there was one imperative difference. To my understanding, druidry is spirituality based on nature. My love of trees and all of nature is rooted in the God that created them. The one and only Father God and He was NOT married to Mother Earth. He created earth, along with all of nature and animals, and yes, most importantly, in His own image-us.

Yes, I do love trees. But, maybe it's the way they stretch out toward Heaven. Maybe it's because when I look at them I see His creation, not something wrought from human hands. Maybe it's because the Bible speaks often about trees and how they and all of nature will rejoice at His coming recognizing that He is their creator, the Creator of the entire universe and everything in it. The Bible says the trees will clap!(Isaiah 55:12)  I am fascinated with the knowledge of how everything He made will glorify Him, not just the living things but all creation; the mountains, hills, and rocks will all call out with shouts of praise. ( Luke 19:40) Where will they get those hands to clap and those mouths to shout? You guessed it. The God that created them from nothing will see to that. What an incredible day that will be!

So, run outside and find a tree. Go ahead. Don't be shy.  Give it a big hug.  A great big hug of thank you for the God of All who created it!

(c) 2011 Bonnie M. Evans