For the month of January, I am following a writing challenge with prompts from Beth Morey at She of the Wild. I’ve written mostly poetry and posted on Instagram. Today the prompt is the following phrase: about a tree. As I thought about it, I began to think of the trees I remembered from my childhood and into the present.
There was a large pine tree at the back corner of our yard when I was a kid living in Florida. I can still see it in my mind. We had a swing set near it and a basketball net on it. My brothers and I and our friends spent lots of time playing there.
There were woods behind the house until someone cleared it out. The land was later used to grow sugar cane. I thought the palm tree in our front yard was pretty neat, but my dad finally got rid of it. (It may have died.) In the back yard near the house there was an oak tree, but I don’t really remember its leaves changing color or falling, though I know they must have. It wasn’t until I left Florida that I got a real taste of the changing seasons.
Moving to the North
I loved our little house and land in New Hampshire. One reason may be that it was the first house my husband and I owned. We had lots of trees on that small ¾ acre property. I counted over 70 white birch alone, not to mention all the other trees growing there. I remember being surprised by the burst of color during that first Autumn. As the leaves fell, there was a carpet of red, yellow, orange and brown on the ground. We lived there for three years.
Afterward we spent time in Florida again, then South Dakota, several places in New Jersey, and finally ended up here in South Carolina. South Dakota did not have many trees, and it seemed like the wind was always blowing. The sun would still be shining brightly in our picture window till after 9:00 at night. I missed the trees.
Back to the South
We’re back in the south, but at least we are far enough north to experience the seasons as the leaves change color, fall and grow anew in the spring. Here we live on the border of a woodland and there are so many trees. Even our house is made of logs. I love it! I often take walks and photograph the trees at different times of day. It’s fun looking for interesting marks or growth patterns on them.
No matter which direction I look from my house I see an abundance of trees. They are majestic reminders of the God who created them and so much more. Standing below them I feel small, yet I know that the very hairs of my head are numbered by God.
Near the house we have a large oak tree. I can see it right outside my bedroom window. It always stands up straight and tall whether dressed in leaves or with bare skeleton limbs. Its roots grow deep, and every year the leaves come back providing much needed shade for our house.
He loves me, has chosen me to belong to Him and is always with me. When I focus on who I am in Christ, I don’t have to worry about what other people think. I am free to explore, learn and follow my dreams. When I fail I don’t need to worry, because God will always be there to put me back on the right path.
Like a Tree
Spending time in His word and prayer I gain wisdom and strength. Like a tree my roots go down deep. If I am firmly planted and nourished in the soil of truth, I will grow into the person I am meant to be. Using my talents and strengths I can encourage others and point to the One who is above all, the One who is full of compassion and offers grace to all.
May God bless each one of us granting strength, wisdom and grace. May we stand tall like trees always growing and sharing our lives with others. Psalm 1 is a great illustration of how we can be like trees near the water. Our roots will grow deep and we will blossom and flower, producing fruit at just the right time. I love the way it reads in the following translation.
God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes,
When you avoid sin’s highway,
when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse.
For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness.
It is your focus—from dusk to dawn.
You are like a tree,
planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.
Your fruit ripens in its time;
your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.
For those who focus on sin, the story is different.
They are like the fallen husk of wheat, tossed by an open wind,left deserted and alone.
In the end, the wicked will fall in judgment;
the guilty will be separated from the innocent.
Their road suddenly will end in death,
yet the journey of the righteous has been charted by the Eternal.
The Tree Song