We tucked spring sweaters around us last night and headed outside into the sunset – to plant all these tiny tree saplings from my Gram and Pop’s house.
As we dug holes in the rich soil of our pasture, my mind traveled back in time to the days when I was a barefoot little girl running through the paradise of my grandparents’ acreage. The soft green grass and cottage flowers, the wind-rustled willow tree dancing in the dappled light, the white picket fence by the apple trees, the horse corral and the crow’s nest hideout on top of the shed, the lilac bushes and yellow roses, the little brick paths and the evergreen hedges guarding my secret playspace, the berry bushes and abundant garden crops all separated into neat brown rows. It was all Eden to me.
And now here I stand these many years later on my own little slice of land, ready to cultivate an Eden of my own by weaving together the past and the present.
It’s so special to me that the very first living things to be planted here are the babes of the trees that I grew to love so dearly as a child. I see these tiny trees of Poplar, Pine, and Pottawatomie Plum, Pie Cherry, Red Cedar, Quakie and Willow, and I feel like I have a piece of my Grammy and Pop always with me.
Sometimes the littlest things mean the very most.
And I wondered as I recorded my thoughts in my journal last night, if there was not a great lesson to be learned in this tender little story.
You see, our parents, grandparents, and ancestors have each grown such lovely gardens of spiritual qualities in their well-lived lives. And perhaps, if we took a small walk through their story gardens and pondered on the strengths they exemplified, we could take some of these little seedlings and plant them in our own hearts to grow to fruition in our lives.
Perhaps their trees of faith, courage, or determination could live on in us.
My baby trees are tiny now, but I hope that as these cedar and pines grow up before my eyes, I will witness a growth, too, of all the ways I want to be just like my sweet Grammy and Poppy.
And maybe, just maybe, when I see the tops of the poplars and quakin’ aspens brush the sky, I will see within my heart the trees of kindness, love, hard work, and faith reach the sky as well.