Tuesday, August 13, 2013

the unstoppable tree

There's this rogue tree growing in my flower bed.

Actually, it's quite a beautiful, little maple tree.  And every year, for the past several years, I've had it on my to-do list to remove the tree.  I keep thinking it will die off in the winter, since I'm not covering it or watering it or doing anything special to keep it alive.  It can't possibly just be growing there, can it?

So, this year, I asked a friend if he wanted the tree.  "No. I'm good on trees"

bummer.  What should I do with this?  I't's about 12 feet tall already.  and healthy as all get-out.

And the same friend who turned down my generous offer of coming over, digging up and replanting the tree, made this casual observation.

You know what I've noticed about trees?  They grow where they want to grow, and they never grow where you think they should grow.

And I kept thinking about it.  It's true.  Trees do what they want to do.  And they aren't having internal conflicts about whether this or that is the right place to be, or go, or do.  Should I be growing in the south lot of the house or the north lot? Is this optimum water and sun and protection?  Nah.

And all that compost that I laid down for the tomatoes (the ones I planted as well as the ones that grew up naturally from the compost) was the very thing nurturing the roots of this little sapling, who was nothing more than a small nuisance a couple of years ago.

But now the sapling is taking on the duty of shading the flowers, and it is time to make a decision about the tree.  Do I keep my flowers going? Or do I keep the tree?

And just at this point, twelve of you are offering to come over and dig up my tree. And I am going to tell you that my tree is not for sale.

It's staying.  It has won my heart. And changed my perspective. I love that tree.

And the sooner that we step back and recognize that life and growth happens organically, rather than systematically, we will stop trying to be in control of the issues.

Whether it is trees, animals, or even people-- God wants us to step back and observe what is going on rather than instantly try to change everything--just because we can.

Has God placed you in a situation that may not be ideal but is truly bringing you closer to Him? Are you growing?

I am going to start treating this tree like a tree and make it's situation a little more comfortable, but in the meantime, as the gardener, I am just rejoicing at how healthy it is--growing... right where it is.


Mrs. Parunak said...

Lovely post! I found a tiny baby tree growing in my raised bed this year. I moved it to a pot, and it is now nearly dead. It makes me happy to think you've saved yours.

Steve Rusk said...

I once saw a painting of potted geraniums, & beneath, on the frame, were the words, "Bloom Where You're Planted."

Bernadette Veenstra said...

We had a tree growing in our garden right outside our bedroom window. I pulled it out last year. It was too close to the house. But it was kind of crazy how big it got without any nurturing.

Nita Brainard said...

I'm a North Dakota native and know how to value trees, and I love the simple, unforced, and well-expressed lesson from yours.

Anonymous said...

So, I just have to know what kind of tree? I uproot and move saplings around on a pretty routine basis...but then again, we live in the middle of a woods...

But, I have to say, I love your thoughts on making room for life!