"It is difficult to realize how great a part of all that is cheerful and delightful in the recollections of our own life is associated with trees." ~Wilson Flagg
We sat quietly on the deck of the cabin, our senses preoccupied with the mountainous terrain surrounding us. The sun was playing peek-a-boo behind the pines, and I found myself drawn to these stately trees. Every which way I looked, they stood proudly, mingling with the Aspens. Their sweet scent always takes me back in time to backpacking trips and family vacations ~ all good memories.
My husband was equally impressed by these majestic creations. He commented that they all seemed similar at a glance, but in reality, were so different. We noted how each stood like a miracle, with God's signature written all over it.
In the midst of hundreds of pine trees, one tree caught my eye and held it. This tree looked as though it suffered from a severe case of scoliosis. In at least a half a dozen places, the massive trunk veered to the left...then the right...then the left, and so on, all the way up its spine. I gazed at that tree, wondering why it didn't enjoy the same straight stature of its companions. Did it have to fight harder to survive and thrive in this forest?
Today, nestled on my porch back at home, I can't stop thinking about that tree. Maybe it's because I can identify with it. I can relate to its imperfections. And I know all about getting off course, then finding my way back to the straight path that leads me upward. I have also experienced that feeling of not quite fitting in to my surroundings, and wondering if I stick out like a sore thumb. Yes ~ that tree and I have much in common.
But the more I think about it, the more peace I have about identifying with that tree. We've both pressed onward and upward, even when it was hard. We both continue to grow and thrive. We are unique. Most important of all, we are loved by our Creator regardless of our imperfections.
I think trees hold a special place in God's heart. The second chapter of Genesis tells how He made all kinds of beautiful trees. In the middle of that first garden stood the tree that gave life. Next to it was the tree that gave knowledge of good and evil. When I searched "trees" in my Bible App, countless verses popped up. And in the end, wasn't it a tree that Jesus hung upon...for you...for me? Joyce Kilmer's line, "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree," speaks to me. I quite agree! All are masterpieces, beautiful in their own way. And so are we.
"The trees are God's great alphabet:
With them He writes in shining green
Across the world His thoughts serene."
"Trees are your best antiques." ~Alexander Smith
"The oaks and the pines, and their brethren of the wood, have seen so many suns rise and set, so many seasons come and go, and so many generations pass into silence, that we may well wonder what 'the story of the trees' would be to us if they had tongues to tell it, or we ears fine enough to understand." ~Author Unknown
"I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun...heaven knows how fast and far!" ~John Muir
"If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees."