For those you who have some background in Christianity, you may be aware that we are currently in the liturgical season of Lent.
The word, Lent, means a “lengthening.” The days are lengthening naturally, and helped along partially by Daylight Savings Time (DST) which began somewhere around 1908-1914, earlier in Canada and then more publicly in Europe and in the U.S.
The days are lengthening, temperatures are warming, and bits of green are breaking through the ground. One hopes not too soon so that a frost does not kill them.
A few weeks ago, as we began this “lengthening” period, a friend of mine shared with me that something she was going to do during this Lenten time was to pick out a tree and watch it each day to see when the green buds would appear. The idea appealed to me. I walk most mornings in a nearby park with an assortment of trees. It took me a couple of days to pick out my tree.
The tall slender pines did not appeal to me, neither the ash or the maple, nor the dramatic weeping willow. I settled on a tree whose name I do not know; not tall and overpowering; not silent in its ordinariness.
The tree I picked is rather a short tree with a collection of branches that intertwine; not straight and narrow. Clustery. Makes me think of how our lives intersect and interact. I think it has character and welcoming. My climbing tree days are over, but a young person could settle in on one of its branches and not worry about a serious tumble.
Near to my tree is a stand of new trees, “baby trees” that have just been planted by our City Parks Department. I opted to claim one of those as well.
Looking for the green on “my tree” each morning leads me to be hopeful. The green will come. Claiming one of the newly planted trees leads me to be hopeful for those who will be walking this path in another time. The green will come, and they too will be hopeful.
As spring breaks through, look to nature to find a bit of hope, share that hope and plant seeds of hope for those who will follow the trail behind us.