Friday, March 21, 2014

In Praise of Trees



When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees of the field people, that you should besiege them? Deuteronomy 20

Yesterday I commented that the United Nations has declared a special day for virtually every cause, and sure enough, we moved from happiness yesterday to trees today. This works for me because I love trees. While we were living in a manse in Bowmanville we planted a number of trees even though we knew it wasn't our property. It was just the hopeful thing to do. We loved two long-timers, old and very large cedar trees which shaded the backyard. There was also an ancient catalpa tree (seen above) which bloomed late in June with white flowers which cascaded down like snow.

 In the first months in our new home in Belleville we planted a lilac, a cherry, a catalpa, and a serviceberry cluster. These are all flowering trees and we look forward to seeing what happens this spring following a harsh winter -- if spring ever arrives in some expression other than a day on the calendar. We would love to find an American chestnut as well, but they are being slowly reintroduced after nearly being wiped out by disease, so it may be a while before they are available through nurseries.

After the ice storm in late December we watched anxiously to see if the two clumps of birch in our yard would crumble under the weight, but they appear to have made it. The thicket of old-fashioned honeysuckle bushes across a large section of the fence line have harboured birds all winter, even though the tempting berries were consumed long ago.

There is something about the presence of trees which is healing. Actually hospital design now incorporates a view of trees because they are felt to hasten the recovery process.

So it is not surprising that there are trees at the beginning of our scriptures and at the conclusion, with plenty more in between. I like that trees are in a garden in Genesis and a city in Revelation.

Are there other tree-lovers out there? Are trees holy and healing in your view? Have you planted trees through the years?

1 comment:

roger said...

I love trees. There's not much that is more relaxing than sitting in the backyard under the shade of a tree. Plus, it attracts so many types of birds. I could never move to a new house, as one of the criteria we have for a place is for it to have mature trees.

Trees are so important too. They're the lungs of Mother Earth, and they are so necessary to help offset some of the air pollution.

I've planted quite a few shrubs and a few trees over the years, and I have purchased a few more gardening books recently(I like Mark Cullen's books and articles). I have some serious plans for this summer's backyard!