September 2012 Letter–Dear Tree,
I remember the puny sapling that you were 5 years ago. I planted you and wondered whether you would make it.
Look at you now: you stand tall with a thick trunk, well established, sure of yourself. To look at you on a day to day basis, one would think you were always there, always so strong and steady… yet you are nothing like you were back then; you grow stronger and more beautiful year after year.
My love affair with your family started when we bought our first house. Here I was, a young mom with an old farmhouse in need of a lot of repair, and a little property filled with trees. The thought that I actually owned trees made me giddy with joy. But I soon found out that the owning of trees is illusive. I might have paid for the trees and the land they stood on, but trees don’t let themselves be owned by any one. They just are. Majestic and strong. Proud. Beautiful.
You amaze me.
Year after year, you weave strong roots in the depth of the earth. The strength, sturdiness and stability that my eyes see above the surface of the ground is fruit of all your labor. Born of a single seed, you become bearer of millions of the same.
In the spring you declare that life is coming back, no matter what things look like. In the dog days of summer, you sway your leaves all around me and remind me that relief is always on its way. And in the fall, you become an artist, painter and reflection of God’s perfect rainbow; you entice me to enjoy the moment, to breathe it deep within.
And when the cold weather comes, your branches gently hold on to the magic of winter so that I can delight in beauty, perfect and still.
Dear trees in my backyard, I have grown right alongside you year in and year out. I have grown roots as well. You have patiently heard my complaint or my song or my silly self conversations as I pruned you each year. I have been pruned as well.
And you keep all my secrets.
You shade me and protect me.
You invite me to the dance of those who know that time indeed is to be reckoned with and changes us from the inside out.
Thank you for all the joy you bring to me,
Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp
#275 the gentle breeze outside
#274 a successful day at work
#273 my brand new custom table and the fellowship that it invites