Saturday, April 18

A Parable of Sorts: Growing Like a Weed

I'm about to lose the ambiance of my quiet-time place. My glorious, canopy-providing trees are about to come down.

Princess Trees

What are commonly (among our friends) called the "weed trees" are actually Princess Trees, the most prolificly spreading trees in Georgia. (Here is a link to an excellent web page if you just HAVE to know more about the Princess Tree :) )

Our deck faces southwest, and was unbearably hot in the summer. We installed a Sunsetter awning across the back of the house to provide shade, but it only provided shade when it was extended. Extending the awning requires expending energy - something hubby and I try to avoid.

In those years, I was also fighting a weed that refused to be beaten. It was growing under the deck and up and out of an opening. I couldn't get leverage to pull it up, but I continually broke it off. I knew what it was - a seedling from our neighbors' tree they had proudly planted a few years ago. I regularly pulled up tiny seedlings from my flower beds, but this warrior weed had grown to Goliath proportions.

Finally I gave up. The opening it had found was tailor made for a tree to grow out of, so I let it grow. I trimmed it to make it look treelike instead of weedlike, and watched it take off. Two years later, I saw another sprout under the other end of the deck, and started training it to grow toward the opening down there.

Now I have two beautiful trees, whose gargantuan leaves create an oasis during the hot, Georgia summer months. In the winter, the bare limbs let the sun warm the deck, and, if it's not windy, I can enjoy a few moments respite in God's tabernacle. Spring time brings thousands of bell-shaped, lavender blossoms.

Those trees were meant to be there, I'm sure. Now I'm mourning their imminent loss. I disparately do not want them cut down, but hubby HATES the huge mess they create. Check it out ---


This is our deck this afternoon. A constant rain of purple blossom spatter the deck, the concrete around the pool, and the pool itself. When the blossoms are spent, a rain of sticky seeds will follow. Then, come summer, the shower of those gargantuan green leaves, Autumn turns the leaves brown and crumbly and they cover the deck. Winter winds cause the dried open seedpods and stubborn dead leaves to fall. So you see, my weed trees create a year-long chore - outside AND in. Right now, purple blossoms are scattered around my house after clinging to my dauchhund's long hair. My friends lovingly refer to her as "dustmop". Each season, she brings the fruits of the tree, whatever they may be, in the back door with her.

Hubby says it's time for the trees to go. Oh, and I forgot to mention, they are outgrowing the "tailor made" openings and warping the deckwood. If we don't get rid of them now, the deck may be ruined. (I suggested cutting out more of the deck, but that suggestion wasn't met with any enthusiasm.)

So this afternoon I'm enjoying one of my last (possibly THE last) Friday afternoon in my sanctuary, communing with Nature, just one of the many aspects of our One True God. I'm complaining to Him about the loss of my quiet-time place. How those trees were MEANT to be there, how He put them there for me, and how maybe Hubby shouldn't just cut them down arbitrarily.

My Father said to me, "I give you many things. Some things are forever. Some things are just for a time when you need them. Some things I take away when you get too comfortable."

Yeah, I know. But You're not talking about the trees are You?

I think about something else that He meant to be, something that was planned in advance for me - my salvation. One day, long ago, in my childhood, a seed was planted, sown from a mature, neighboring tree. From that day on, no matter how many times I tried to ignore it or break it off, the emerging sprout kept coming back. There was nothing I could do to kill that spark of Life inside me.

Now I've grown into a tree myself - of sorts. And my husband soon sprouted from my seed. We are mature enough to bear fruit and sow seeds of our own, but we're not nearly full grown yet. But our growth spurt has caused all of this extra work, you see. Being a mature(ing) Christian instead of a stunted, nuisance of a baby, requires constant maintenance involving my time, my energy, and many times, my serving when all I want, for once, is to sit back and BE served.

Now, tell me, should I cut off the cause, the Root, of all this extra required maintenance because it requires sacrificing "my" time? "My" talents? "My" treasures?

Sure, life will be easier without my weed trees, but without them I won't be able to bask in the sights, sounds, and smells that are the background to my quiet time. It will be strange not to have to sweep clean a path to my chairs before I can enjoy my solitude.

Maybe I'll move to the front porch....its shady confines are surrounded by shedding shrubbery.