Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Being Glad

That Barrington day? I was walking back to my car after the breeze got too much, and found myself absolutely riveted by the sight of a dead tree. I couldn't stop looking at it--or taking photos of it. An older couple walked by and the man said, "Pretty wood, isn't it?"

It was a relief to know that someone else got it, even though I'm quite sure "pretty wood" didn't encapsulate it. I don't know how old that tree was, or what killed it, but there was that pretty wood, rising sinuously out of the ground, as if the tree had spent its life pouring itself upward.

I know I keep going on and on about trees. I just can't get enough of them. They make me think of God for some reason, but it isn't a consciously unpackable reason. I mean, sure, there's lots of tree imagery in the Bible--the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Cross of Christ, the Tree of Life, and even the trees of the fields clapping their hands. But I don't usually look at a tree and think, "This reminds me of a cross" (it very rarely does) or, "This makes me think of the Tree of Life in Ezekiel." Even though I appreciate all that imagery, of course.

I'm a great one for analogies and allegories, but I just don't think there is one to sum up why trees remind me of God. They just do. They remind me of God in a glad way--even if I'm mad at Him or something (which I'm not, currently, but I have been a fair bit), if I look a tree it calms me right down and makes me feel like thanking Him anyway.

Oh. And I didn't do this on purpose, but . . . Happy Earth Day, everybody!


Christianne said...

i can appreciate that tree! and i can also appreciate your attempt to explain why they remind you of God . . . but become befuddled in trying. i, too, so love trees, and they make me feel God, too, but i couldn't do even half as good a job as you in trying to explain it. (and i know you aren't satisfied with the way you did it, either, so that means i REALLY don't know how to do it!)

maybe it has something to do with how twisty and gnarl-y and poetic and haunting they can be. i don't know. they make me feel all kinds of things, and seeing a really great tree can totally arrest me. but go figure. i don't know why.

heather said...

ooh--that tree holds secrets. if you sit with him long enough, he'll whisper stories to you.

L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, they are lovely!

Trees in general are long-living, strong, flexible, beautiful, sheltering. No wonder they speak of God.

Peggy said...

Love the photos Jenn!

And I agree that trees can remind someone of God! I have an upcoming blog on my tree...in front of my place, but not as exquisite and refined like this one!Your analogies and allegories and earthy, but biblical thinking was GREAT! Thanks for sharing!

Happy Earth day(belated)!I waited with my story so it didn't look like I was searching for a tie-in to earth day!lol So Happy Tree Day!
Save the earth and bless you for coming over to visit and leave a comment! Peggy mazmagi.blogspot.com

Jenn said...

Christianne--it's nice to know other people feel this, too. And maybe it's also nice NOT to know why.

Heather--I suspect you're right. Sadly, he is perched beside a road and not far from a house; I feel that if I sat near him too long either the cars would distract, or someone in the house would kick me out.

LL--that is very true, and a good point.

Peggy--thanks, and you're welcome. All the best in your own drive to "save the earth." ;)

Jeff said...

Yeah, I love trees to. And for the reasons you describe.
The symbolic thing that I'd add is that there is something about a thing needing to be so deeply rooted in order to be solidly grounded as it reaches high into the heavens.
Maybe explaining the importance and majesty of a tree is like explaining the cross, or explaining a relationship.
We can compare and unwrap and unpack them but can never exhaust all that there is.

Stacey said...

Just wanted to say "Stacey wuz here" and the tree is indeed beautiful!

Jenn said...

Jeff--yeah, I think that's a good point. I was thinking about the rootedness of trees just yesterday when I saw a particularly impressive one.

Stacey--Hi! Welcome back! ;)

Rhonda said...

Great pic's of trees! I'm an avid tree lover myself.

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