I painted the picture above at the cottage owned by my late mother-in-law. I was sitting on the dock when I painted it. I loved those trees and I am happy to say that they are still there, although we are not. The cottage was sold when my mother-in-law moved into the nursing home. The new owner has changed it a bit, but not so drastically that it is unrecognizable. In fact she even framed some of my father-in-laws fishing flies. She let us go through the cottage one day and I was heartened to see how much of it remained unchanged. Especially the trees.
Whatever caused God to imagine trees? They are so amazing with their beautiful boughs giving us shady places to sit in the summer and giving us shelter from the winter winds. They provide squirrels and birds with homes and food. They start out so small, the size of an acorn or a maple key, and within a few years grow to tower above us. When we look at trees we have to lift our heads and look up. In looking up we see the sky and are reminded of how very immense God’s artistry is and how small we humans are.
The perfume from trees is wonderful. Lilac bushes are sweet smelling, pine trees have a spicy scent and fruit trees have such a variety of aromas, depending on their fruit. Trees come in so many varieties from the ancient old forest giant redwoods to the swaying palms and vivid maples. The sound in the woods is so very musical with the wind moving the branches and leaves.
Most of all, God provided us with a unending supply of oxygen, the breath of life, from trees. Don’t you notice how easy it is to breath deeply in a forest?
In 1998 Eastern Ontario and western Quebec had a terrible ice storm that brought down so many trees. At first the icicle laden trees shone in the sunlight and the landscape took on the appearance of a crystal fantasy land. As the days wore on, the ice became menacing as we could hear the crash of falling branches and tree trunks all around. I remember in particular, one large tree looking like a huge glass chandelier, hanging over our back yard. Our youngest son, took the dog out for a slippery walk and came back in to warn us about the hanging ice. A short time later we heard what sounded like the crash and splintering of crystal, when the tree branch chandelier fell onto the ice covered snow banks in our back yard. So many trees were damaged it brought us to tears.
We must appreciate our natural surroundings and pass on the value of every living thing to our children. Everything on earth has its purpose and part of ours is to be good caretakers of the temporary home we have been given so that when we leave what we bequeath to our children and grandchildren is what God intended.