Each month, Everything Holy packets highlight a way to create Sacred Space within our homes. In September, that included a short reflection on trees.
Trees do a lot of work. First of all, they have the work of growing: roots digging into the soil to gather essential nutrients and soak up water, leaves absorbing sunlight providing food for the whole plant, branches reaching to make the most of the environment. And look at the amazing outcomes of all that work. Trees:
- Bring beauty to the places they live.
- Give us shelter and shade.
- Provide homes for people and for animals.
- Produce fruit and other products that we use for food.
- Are made into furniture, toys, musical instruments, baseball bats, all sorts of paper products.
- Are natural playgrounds.
- Give us oxygen.
- Are a source of medicines, foods, and materials.
- Improve mental health.
And, they are beautiful. Many of us probably remember the first lines of a poem by Joyce Kilmer: “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” Herman Hesse said, “Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.” And trees are sacred to many ancient and contemporary faith traditions, carrying a lifeforce, as a representation of a deity, or providing a connection with a higher power.
Scripture has a lot to say about trees, seeds, planting, and growth:
Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.Genesis 18:4
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.Psalm 1:3
I planted a seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.1 Corinthians 3
People are like a tree in so many ways. They work hard to grow. They support life in many forms and through many channels. They produce fruit. They make people feel happy and secure.
We can learn something from trees.
- Are you flexible like the live oak?
- Strong in spite of your challenges like the cypress?
- As you grow, do you create beauty for others to revel in like the Rainbow Eucalyptus?
Participants are encouraged to add to their Sacred Space using the small tree within the September Everything Holy packet to celebrate the work done to become strong and mature, worth of growth, and fruits produced.
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