Saplings are often overlooked when we think about the landscape. We adore the gift of shade that trees like maples and oaks provide. The autumnal leaf color is a visual gift as we anticipate the nakedness of nature during the winter months.
A SEEDS TALE
In the midst of the forest, seeds fall. Seeds fall, laying in stillness until conditions are right.
As the season’s change, the seed is covered by the loving leaves or natural debris. The seed sometimes awakens from within and sets down roots. If it is a tree, the roots produce top growth and become saplings.
SAPLINGS SETTING ROOTS
I observed the growth of a favorite sapling which I see daily. While walking my dog about 12 years ago, she would love to eat acorns. I wondered if this was a good idea or not. No matter how hard I tried to wrestle them from Aminia’s mouth, the acorns were her treat. The crunching sound from that happy face was hilarious.
There was one area where an abundance of acorns fell. I noticed an acorn, nestled among crunched acorn caps had taken root. Seeing the two leaves signaled that it had found a home. I placed two handfuls of mulch in a baggie. Carrying it to the site, I covered its base. I wanted to keep an eye on this baby. How long would it take an oak sapling to grow into a majestic species if left alone? This was my prized sapling, the same age as Aminia. I committed to caring for this sapling, making sure that no large branches fell to hurt or harm it.
Time passed and I admired the growth from year to year. Amazed at the silent strength of this oak sapling, it began to branch out and reach towards the sky.
The year Aminia passed away, I purposely did not walk that way for 6 months. I knew the sapling was standing tall, on her own strength, firmly rooted in her native soil. Funny thing, I had to allow the memory of Aminia to settle inside my inner garden. The seed of what type of dog would I look for was planted and had to take root as well.
Precious and I now take the daily walk past this same sapling. However, now it is a young tree. Increasing branches and a widening trunk is a comforting sight to see. It has weathered the storm of severe drought, extreme temperatures, and heavy rains. I have seen children hugging its trunk, playing games around it and yet, it still grows.
During this time of uncertainty, we need to be like saplings of strength. Standing strong, staying in place, and considering the alternatives to our communities if we do not. Putting down our roots by reading the books we were going to read one day or re-connecting with our families is a good thing. Reacquainting ourselves with our homes or even starting a garden are great ways to patiently pause.
I am like that oak sapling. Exhibiting strength in the midst of this chaos and prayerfully will be a survivor. How are you showing the strength of a sapling in your home or community? Are you the sapling that will survive after the chaos is over?
Sinking my roots in thoughts of my garden,
Teri, from the Cottage In the Courtby