Wednesday, September 7, 2011
There is a large cotton wood tree out my living room window. Summer mornings it shades my neighbour’s lawn. During our brief autumn it is crowned with yellows and golds. Winter afternoons it seems to hold the storm clouds in its branches. In the early spring it glows with luminous light emerald colours, which deepen to richer tones of green as the leaves mature.
The tree leans a bit when strong winds blow, and it reminds me that God holds us, rooting us firmly so we are never separated from God’s love.
It takes some imagination to see the tree-lined street the way it was before someone planted all these cottonwoods, ash trees and elms. Forty years ago, at least, people in my neighbourhood dreamed of shady summer afternoons and pretty winter evenings. Some of them contributed expertise in forestry, gardening and our local parkland climate. Others were willing to weed, water and prune.
We are a part of this, aren’t we? Certainly as gardeners and stewards of the earth, but clearly as an organic part of it. Sometime it’s easier to see our footprint on the earth than our place in the world.
The youth are leading the congregation in a song by Linnea Good this Sunday, “You are a Part of Everything”. And so we are: this blessed earth is not merely ours to tread, but a created whole of which we are a living, breathing, loving part.
The symbol of the Tree of Life reminds us of deep roots, cool shade and our part in everything. As we enter this season together, let’s rest in that blessing.
Blessings to you,
The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean