We all have a story, even trees...


At our house we have a love-hate relationship with trees. Well, mostly love. They provide privacy, shade, attract birds (have I mentioned I love birding?!), beautiful color in the fall, and when my little man gets older he will love to climb them. When your home is surrounded by trees and the wind begins to howl, it's difficult to not think about the trees, their strength, and whether or not they will be standing when the wind passes. Last week we lost an ash tree during a day of high winds. Initially, my mind went to the work it had instantly created. Our driveway was blocked, it would require a chainsaw, splitting, and need transported somewhere. Throughout the day glimpses of the tree stretched across our yard caught my eye and I was reminded it has a story. A story of being chosen to remain when this lot was cleared for a home, standing strong through the years of many families who lived here, and surviving Ohio's diversity of weather events. Evidence of a lightning strike was obvious from a scar stretching down the trunk, another part of the story. Bark had shattered and exposed a second scar; a complex maze of feeding activity created by emerald ash borer larvae, a significant turn in this tree's story.


As the beetle larvae fed on the tree, it began the process of slowly girdling it by disrupting the flow of nutrients. Our ash was weak and couldn't withstand a day of strong winds.  No longer standing, it will be used as firewood to heat my parent's home, still providing at the end of it's story. We will plant a new tree in it's place and look forward to the birth of a new story.

We all have a story, right? I'm thankful for the story I'm walking in, a multitude of short stories leading to the present, unfinished stories currently in progress, "scars" along the way that I've later found reason and purpose in, and stories yet to begin that lie ahead. All working together as "my story" in this life, "chosen" for me. So much of my story has been impacted by other people along the way.  Family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who have been willing to share a piece of their story. We live in such a fast paced society that we often don't get beyond surface type questions when we interact with one another. When we dig deeper in relationships, truly share ourselves with one another and become vulnerable something beautiful happens. I've witnessed this in a circle of friends recently and as each person has shared a piece of their story, it has impacted others. Our friendships have grown and we are beginning to know one another on a new level. It's real and I firmly believe its part of God's design for friendships.

Trees can appear empty and bland this time of the year; look beyond the emptiness and ponder a tree's story as well as yours. Seize the opportunity to share a piece of your story when the moment is right. It could have a forever impact in another person's life.

2 comments:

  1. I love trees. I have grown attached to a few at my house. I now wonder will I be there when their story ends? Will the family that is , will they care? How can I help them have a longer life ? You are wise beyond your years.

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  2. Thanks for stopping by Tami! Trees are thought provoking. I'm a believer in letting nature take its course. Many of the threats trees are faced with are truly out of our control (disease, wind, lightning). But what I like to remember is that when our favorite trees are gone their story goes on. Their stump, roots, and the entire tree if left will slowly decay, return nutrients to the soil, and serve as a food source for organisms. When your married to a man like mine there is always a new story to think about because he loves to plant trees! It works out well because I enjoy watching their story unfold. :)

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