Tag Archives: maple trees

Which One?

7 Nov

I truly live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet—it’s been this way my whole life. I’ve never traveled far, haven’t had to. I know I’ve got it good here with the mountains, streams, rivers, dense forests filled with trees.

It’s been these trees lately that have really made me appreciate all over again the creativity of God, His humor almost. Who would’ve thought to change the leaves into the most brilliant colors, as if their life were timeless, rather than the reality of their imminent death? Their death has to be one of the most beautiful.

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We stare, we click pictures, we gaze in amazement, we climb higher to see, we wonder how it all happens.

For a short while, time stands still as colors burst and pop like fireworks, except this show lasts much longer than the sparks.

It’s the maple trees that usually grab at us hardest. Those oranges, reds, like blood running down the hills—there’s nothing like it.

I walk with my daughter just about everyday. We adventure through the trails behind our home, she with leaves clenched in her fist, a collection for later, me pushing the stroller over roots and bumps with more life.

It must’ve been the colors, or the way the shadows fall this time of year, or the blue sky overhead. Whatever the reason, we were drawn to look up. To stare at the height, the size, the color of these maples. There are many, too many to count even, and it’s the height, not their leaves, that got my head and heart reeling with thoughts.

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For any tree it’s a quiet competition of sorts to get higher and higher—if they don’t, they’re done, a blanket forming over them from others reaching, snuffed out in the darkness of the forest.

And I saw that without The Light, they simply wouldn’t survive.

For some, it’s easy though. A maple in our own yard planted there by my father many years ago, has no such battle to fight. It stands alone surrounded by endless sunshine, its trunk short and thick, a beauty for sure in all its strength, enduring and thriving here.

I couldn’t help but wonder which I was? That tall skinny one, using all my energy just to reach The Light in time to survive? Or the thicker one? Large and stocky, my branches full of leaves, my shape round and perfect, The Light always there sustaining me.

I’ve been struggling for weeks to get this written, time more precious to me than silver these days. My delay in part has been from my own battle as I struggled to find an answer. I was sure there could only be one. But could there be more?

You see, for a while I thought I was that hefty maple, the one strong and beautiful, thick and healthy because of what The Light had done for me. I even pictured myself planted there on purpose, chosen and nurtured. Adopted.

But, my mind kept going back to those tall ones. The ones forced to grow fast, to keep up, their trunks skinny and sometimes mangled in their journey to the top. Their branches aren’t as numerous, making less leaves, less color. They hold scars and wounds. And they oftentimes get lost in the crowd of forests.

But they still produce a beautiful scene especially when you’ve hiked those high peaks and take in the bigger picture below, each one right where it needs to be. Each one perfect in The Light’s eyes.

Winter is almost upon us and only a few stubborn leaves remain. The show’s almost over and I’m still not sure which tree I am.

Maybe sometimes I’m both.

Whichever I am and wherever my branches bud, I’ll do what both have to and reach for The Light everyday.

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***A special thanks to Rambow Photography***