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Day 33—Friday, March 22

Genesis 2:9

Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Five years ago, we moved into our current home. We were needing a different type of house for our growing family, and consequently, our senior years. As we looked, one place kept tugging at my heartstrings- the physical structure was perfect, however the lay of the land was less than desirable. The house sat on a hill which made the yard difficult to maneuver with a lawn mower, and lots of steps also seemed to appear...after we moved in. But, none of this prohibited me from loving the house. It was nestled between two wooded areas- across the road and in the back, forming a tree lined barrier from the road below.* This was another reason I loved this place. I loved the season of the trees!

Trees! Trees everywhere- inside as well as out. And, how inside, you ask? Because everywhere I sit in our home, I can see out- TREES! - no matter the season, time or space. A constant reminder of their place in the world and in our lives. A large maple tree in our front yard, as seen through a large bay window, would become the giver of life:

- A place for a child’s swing to hang and be enjoyed by our granddaughter with many moments of laughter as Nana sang to her.

- A home to a variety of birds and pesky squirrels, and a feeding station to woodpeckers, as they came to search for insects in the bark.

- A stronghold for a large wind chime that sings as the breezes blow through the leaves above.

- And branches for a multitude of bird feeders on which to hang over the years.

We’ve watched this tree daily, heard the breezes blow through it, and experienced the nurturing effect it has had in our landscape, our lives, and in our soul. This tree gives us hope from season to season- that wildlife will return, that homes will be provided, that food will be made available, and that protection will be given. During this Lenten Season there is renewal. We will see trees beginning to bud, hear birds tune up their song, and smell sweet floral fragrances wafting through the breeze. May we use our senses to meet our soul and greet the Tree of Life.

Let us pray, Dear God,

You have given us this Tree of Life, this tree of the knowledge of good and evil. May we be the branches of service to you, as we care for and nurture each other, and find our voice through its breeze to praise good works. Help us to keep a strong faith, turn away from evil...and, watch the trees as they continue to provide sustenance, shelter, and hope for seasons to come. Amen.

*Trees with which we are blessed and sustain our flora and fauna: Leland cypress, red bud, and hickory in the backyard, and dogwood, cherry, oak, sycamore, and honeysuckle in the front.

-Beth Snead



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