by Ginger Caughman
Most of the country is still covered with snow. But it’s that time of year in Mississippi when we yo-yo back and forth with Spring-like temps in the 70’s one day and then back into the 40’s and our Winter weather.
Years ago I learned from a friend to take time to look at winter trees. I still do.
As I write these words, the day is gray with fog and the leafless-trees outside my office window are stark and bare. Deciduous trees are my husband’s favorite. When we moved to Mississippi in 2000, Bill planted many trees. Our favorite is the Lacebark Elm. The bark is stunning thus the name, but I love the tops. The bare limbs this time of year are slender and lacy. Look outside one of your windows, find a bare tree, and observe the trunks and limbs! Really. I’m doing that again this winter.
I now enjoy winter trees because of what I learned from Ruth, a Louisiana friend who is a true artist. Once upon a time in an adult painting class, several friends and I enjoyed studying art with Ruth Brady. I’ve always enjoyed looking at nature. But Ruth taught me how to really see.
“Study trees in winter to see how they grow! Then you can paint the trees in any season for you know where to place the buds, blossoms or leaves. Notice the structure of the trees,” said Ruth. I realized at the same time she was sharing life truths.
Considering structure this year, I’ve noticed this definition: “The arrangement or interrelation of all the parts of the tree.” Of course an important part is what we don’t see, underground roots supporting the tree. That’s another thought to ponder.
Ruth’s lesson is life long. So find a window in your house that looks out on a bare-limbed tree and ponder trees during these last weeks of winter. What about your life, your home, your family? What’s the structure? What’s important?
Sounds like observations from God’s Word. I want to be like those trees in Scripture planted by streams of living water with deep roots in God, the foundation of my faith. May the roots of my life drink and soak in the sparkling Holy Spirit of God, refreshing my spirit and making my life strong in Him. The Lord promises to bless us when we trust Him.
Let us seek true happiness and joy in the Lord by studying and obeying His Word. Then we’ll be like well-watered trees with deep roots in Christ! I found a verse in Psalms that made me smile. In praising God for His Creation and Providence, the Psalmist wrote, “The trees of the Lord are full of sap!” Plant a Lacebark Elm for a lovely graceful tree to watch in all seasons!