A Tree Grows In Herrin, IllinoisUncategorized
I have a Blue Spruce tree. And I love my Blue Spruce tree very much. Though I am a far cry from the type of person you’d call a “nature worshiper,” I have to admit that I have this deep connection to my tree. For one thing, I have always thought the Blue Spruce was one of the most beautiful trees on the planet, and I used to think that it was unlikely I would ever have one in my own yard. But about 12 years ago, shortly after my husband and I moved into my current home, a cousin asked me if I’d like to have a Blue Spruce.
It seems that this little tree – not much more than a baby, at 5 feet tall – was having a very hard time of it in his yard because it was sitting in an old barrel, beneath several other trees, which were robbing it of sun and seriously stunting its growth. It was leaning to one side, trying to stay alive, but my cousin said it wouldn’t last if he didn’t get it out of the barrel and give it a home in deep soil, with plenty of sunshine and moisture.
I jumped at the chance to have my own Blue Spruce, and I believed that, through care and a lot of prayer (I always pray for my pets and my plants), I could get it back to a state of good health. I was especially encouraged to learn that when he went to pick up the barrel and transfer it to my yard, he could not get the barrel to budge. Upon further investigation, he found that this persistent Blue Spruce had forced its roots down between some very small cracks in the bottom of the barrel and rooted itself in the solid ground, determined to live and grow.
So we planted it in the middle of my front yard, drove a metal stake into the yard against its trunk, and fastened it to that stake so that it would help it to grow straight again. It was barely 5 feet tall, and two people could reach around its circumference and touch hands. 12 years and much prayer later (due to drought, bagworms, and a couple big dogs who kept mistaking it for their bathroom), it is thriving. Standing straight and strong, it now reaches almost 20 feet into the air and would require about 7 people to encircle it if they wanted to touch hands. I used to decorate it every year at Christmas, but now it would take a truck with a bucket ladder to do the job.
I guess you could say that I have a love affair with this tree. And every spring, I get excited just thinking about how it will again put out thousands of little pods on the end of each branch and push from those pods the most delightful bright green fluffs which will become the new leaves for that year. I look forward to the experience every year, and each year I am thrilled all over again as I watch the brand new life spring forth and totally renew this giant friend. Part of that thrill, of course, is not just because my tree is growing. But that bursting forth of new life from my tree represents all the new life that God gives us each year in nature – and the new life He offers each of us through Jesus Christ and His resurrection.
This year, I got the bright idea that I would take pictures and record each step in the process of this renewal of life in my Spruce tree. And since WordPress so conveniently offers a slide show apparatus on our blogs, I have put those pictures into a slide show in order to share the beauty and the thrill with everyone who visits here. Enjoy.