‘Serene’ Ponthus Beach, Broceliande Forest, France. Photography by Christophe Kiciak.
It’s -2 and Bella is busy throwing wood on the fire for the evening, I remember a conversation I had with Andy Donaldson a few weeks ago and then I think of my big bro, who creates from wood – making jewelry, furniture, drums. His eye catches the grain to release the art, although he does feel that wood holds much more beauty when it’s alive than when it’s dead.
These three bring todays prompt. Trees.
In the beginning I wrote about roots, but let’s backtrack to a different beginning. In Genesis God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.” And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—Day Three. Gen 1:11-13
In this beginning, when trees were spoken into being, Jesus was there. Taking part in the art, delighting in detailed design. A vision of the tiniest of tiny becoming towering trees. The spoken order of seasons, of planting, of growth, of prunings, of dead wood, of life, of fruit. I’m sure He knew we would desire to hold onto the vibrancy against dark skies a while longer as the leaves blow towards a harsh winter, the whiteness of dormancy. Of waiting.
The trees of creation become the trees of expecting.
I see Mary and Joseph sitting under a tree, vine-like emotions winding their way around new life. A quick breeze blows through the branches as questions fill their conversation. Leaves fall as fears are voiced to each other then… sunlight breaks through the branches, a gentle reminder of their angelic visitation.
The tree of expecting becomes the tree of the carpenter.
The babe is born, Jesus, cradled in a wooden trough from trees he had spoken into being. Boy Jesus sits and watches Joseph, learning from the carpenter. He watches him carve, saw, file, create. He learns to strip back, smooth the rough. He knows wood, its texture, and its smell.
He sits high in the tree pondering his earthly Father and his craft, pondering his heavenly Father and his creation. His craft. He looks at his own hands, rough with scars from his own woodwork.
The tree of the carpenter becomes the tree of teaching.
Leaning against the tree on the mountains, surrounded by roses of Sharon, he speaks to his friends, teaching and guiding. They have heard him speak to fig trees and about mulberry trees. He has described the mustard seed, his favorite, the weak to the strong, the lost and the found, the last shall be first.
The tree of teaching becomes the tree of purpose.
The garden of Gethsemane offers an uncomfortable pillow for weary heads; Jesus knows agony among the olive trees, dark and shivering, he’s alone with his Father. The wait is over as a different light shines though the trees.
Exhausted, beaten, tormented…Jesus carries the tree to Golgotha. The dead weight of creation on his back, enduring the wood. The tree. Our tree. Our splinters, cuts and pain, the rings of our life running through. Mary watches, she has followed his journey, from a distance, understanding the will of the Father.
There’s a reason dead wood was used for the cross. Dead wood is thrown into the fire.
The tree of purpose becomes the tree of salvation.
It’s Day Three. New Creation. A fruitful life. Your gift.
Happy weekend y’all, enjoy the trees.
See you tomorrow,
Love, Michelle xoxo