Saturday, September 24, 2016

Like Trees Planted By Streams

Happy are those    who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
    or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
    planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
    and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper...
                  from Psalm 1

Wednesday of this past week was National Tree Day, planted in the middle of National Forest Day, which concludes today. Got that straight?

I'm a big fan of trees and we've planted a number on our property, even though there are trees all around us. A silver maple which had been coming along nicely appears to have succumbed to the drought-like summer. Sliver maples like wet feet and I wasn't attentive enough. I'm in mourning.

There are lots of tree references in scripture, as I regularly point out, and the Book of Psalms begins with the metaphor of those who are true to God being like a tree planted beside a sustaining water source which gets them through life's droughts. The Old English word for tree is related to being firm, solid, steadfast, true. I like that. There is a "tree spiritual" often sung during the American Civil Rights movement based on Psalm 1.


We have been much more aware of the trees around us since our wonderful vacation in Iceland, a country of  seemingly unlimited natural beauty and very few trees. Apparently the Vikings were impressed by the trees when they first arrived more than a thousand years ago, but they probably weren't that abundant or diverse -- birch and willow. A million sheep make sure that saplings don't stand a chance, and while there has been some planting for windbreaks and in yards, it is a largely treeless landscape. The colour, the shade, the sound of rustling leaves are all marvelous gifts of the Creator, not to be taken for granted.

Are trees among your circle of friends? Have you planted trees through the years? Where do trees rank amongst the wonders of Creation?

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