Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thoughts on Trees...

I LOVE trees.  I never realized how much until I moved to Colorado for twelve years, where trees (believe it or not) are hard to come by.  Now, granted, up in the High Country, where the ski areas are, and where the Hot Springs flow, there are a lot of evergreens and aspen.  But down on the Front Range - Colorado Springs - where we were, trees aren't very plentiful, and they take a very long time to grow.

Colorado Springs is actually high desert.  The place where we lived for most of the twelve years was at 7,300 feet but the actual topography is flat with a few dips.  And because of the high altitude, and the short growing season (there are maybe three months with no snow - maybe), trees are rare and coveted.  In fact, the property I owned had many Ponderosa Pines on it, and I sold off some of them one year to pay the property taxes.  They were about twelve feet tall, and I remember getting around $3,000 for six of them...  later we visited them along the highway by a new shopping center.  Ten years later when we moved, the trees were maybe a foot taller. Maybe.

Now, bear in mind that I grew up  on the West Coast, with most of my formative years in Seattle.  No such tree trouble in Seattle.  In fact, they grow so fast and so tall, that they get to be kind of a pain.  They interfere with views, their branches crack off and take out roofs and cars and stuff in bad storms, the leaves clog up sewers and creeks and rivers. If you take too many of them out when developing property, you can cause soil erosion, and big slidey messes when the rain falls.  Their roots get into people's sewer pipes and crack sidewalks.  They are something we have to control, not nurture and coax to grow.

It's a completely different point of view.

Isn't life like that?  Some years you're out in the desert, looking for the shade of a nice tree. Maybe it's a stable job, or a caring church family, or the comfort of good friends.  You pray over those trees you try to plant, you water them, stake them up, read everything you can find on how to make them grow.  Then, just when you think they might have taken root, a strong wind knocks them all down.

So, you move back to where the trees are.  God answers, "Yes" to all your prayers, and the job, church, and friends all come.  But these trees can be messy.  Remember those leaves and roots? Properly caring for these abundant, growing relationships can take as much effort as trying to make them grow did back in the desert.

But, down here where the trees grow free, you get to enjoy the beautiful flowering fruit trees in the Spring, shade in the Summer and the and the leaves are really pretty when they turn in the Fall. Yep, as messy as they can be, I think I'll take the trees any day.

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