I love trees. I love to see them so tall with their broad, ever changing and majestic crowns. They sway with the breeze in gentle praise. In the storm, they bow down low in humble worship.
My favorite time to watch the trees is when they are in full array in late spring and of course, summertime.
To watch the trees, I go to “Africa”.
My front yard is lined with big, flat rocks. Some might call them boulders, but in comparison to the geological wonders here, they are merely big rocks. These rocks are a nice decoration to our yard but also provide a place to sit, something for Cowboy, my son, to climb on, and cool relief to a dog’s belly in the summertime. Mostly, they are a warning of the 30 foot drop on the other side, which if not heeded would surely be a painful tumble down to the Creek Road.
But I digress …… One of these rocks is marvelously shaped almost identically, like the continent of Africa. Here is where I sit to contemplate the cosmos, and to commune with my God.
It’s been far too long since I’ve visited Africa. Nature has prevented our coming together for nearly six months. Today I was drawn to her; my sprit man yearned for a meeting. I sat down in the warm sunshine. A gentle breeze blew across my face and through my hair. Yes, it was good to be back. With my face to the sky, I soaked in the sunshine, which had been so very absent from my life as of late. I began to feel lazy and lay down on my side, looking out over the valley.
I could see the tops of many trees, yet had as many more to tower above me as if to keep me humble. Today my trees did not look very majestic. They swayed with the stubble of leaves just beginning, like an awkward adolescent between childhood and man, gangly and sprawling. Still, they moved in quiet praise. I wondered, “Do they ever yearn for spring like I do?” A silly notion of course, impatience in a perfectly designed, life sustaining part of creation, ha! But it led me to consider …..
It must have taken much to withstand the winter we had this year. For six months they’ve weathered high winds, snow, sleet, and spent many weeks entombed in ice. As they stood dormant and resting, strong against the onslaught and cruel grip of winter, many lost limbs, big limbs, that had not been strong enough to withstand the trial. Loss which was undoubtedly needed, as the dead wood drained precious life from the healthy tree. Several trees didn’t make it at all. Yet here they are, continuing life again.
Being in a spiritual place right now where everything appears to be the same yet nothing is familiar, I thought about my trees. How beautifully perfect my God is. I have weathered many storms, feeling dormant and useless at times. Yet the trials have broken off my deadwood, pruning me, getting me ready and allowing me “rest” as God prepared me for growth. In this new place God is bringing me, I feel like that gangly adolescent, attempting to grow, struggling to understand, and desperately trying to bloom.
I lay on my rock for a long time, telling God how marvelous He Is. Adoring His love and all knowing wisdom for what we need, when we need it. I told Him how marvelous He is to have created such amazing things. In reply He whispered ever so gently, “Yes, but my daughter is the greatest of My creations. You too will flourish again and be green and lush, just as your trees will.”
Though at times I’ve foolishly doubted spring would EVER get here this year, logically and in my heart, I knew it would. So I stand, as my trees stand. I’ve withstood the winter, I’ve shucked my deadwood, I’m ready for my spurt of growth, I’m ready to flourish! I don’t have to understand it all. I don’t have to be graceful and never trip, for His grace upholds me. All I have to do is stand …. stand with all of creation and give my Father praise …..
Just like the trees.
~ Sandra K. Yates