Friday, November 7, 2014

Thankful for trees.

I used to know a lady who liked to look at water.  She always said that as long as she could see some water--the ocean, a lake, a pond, even a swimming pool--she could get grounded and settle her spirit.

I feel the same way about trees, leaves, foliage.  Walking along a wooded trail gives me a sense of well being and connectedness to God.

When we bought our previous house, it was a brand new builder's spec home, and it was in the middle of a cleared block.  Not a single tree stood in the yard.

Shawn and I went immediately to Hafner's Garden Center and purchased a birch tree, a red maple and a silver maple.  Shawn took the trees into the yard, while I stood inside looking out the windows.  From there, I told him where I'd like them planted, based on my views.

We placed the birch tree where it would be seen from the front living room windows, providing a leafy view for us, and privacy from the street.  The red maple stood out closer to the street; our fanciest tree, we shared it with the neighbors.  The silver maple cost only $33.  I guess it was what people call a "junk" tree.  They told us it would grow fast, and it did.  We planted it in the back yard so it could grow and shade the kitchen window, which faced west.  During our earliest years at Sugar Pine, the setting sun was blinding while I made dinner, and hot as well.  But as time passed, that tree grew big and effective, eventually keeping the whole house cool on hot afternoons.

 my old view from my old kitchen sink, of the maple tree and my perennial bed beyond

After we moved into the house we live in now, imagine my delight when I drove home one day and discovered that this beauty was, in fact, our tree.  Admiring it, I suddenly realized that it was actually on our property, ours, not the neighbor's (whose house is the main background of this picture).

I am so thankful that God took my love of trees into account when he provided this house for us.

 If you can see past the reflections, this is the view of a maple tree to the west of our sun porch here!

Same sun porch, but looking north: more trees!  (and more reflections; sorry)

My view from the new kitchen sink involves a literal grove of trees.
And this is November.  Imagine July!

Trees give us buds and blossoms in the spring, the first misty green signs that life is coming back after winter.  During summer, trees provide shade from the heat, as well as fruit and nuts to eat.  Autumn leaves are one of the most glorious events in the cycle of a tree.

Even bare trees are beautiful.  I am so glad that God made trees.

at Robert Treman State Park in NY

the boxelder tree I grew up with, at my parents' house

trees at Allerton Park in Monticello, IL

I am thankful for trees.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”
                                       Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV) 

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