I was driving down the road the other day and saw a tree that had a few leaves that were already changing from summertime green to autumn red and orange. While I will admit that autumn is a beautiful season, the first week of September is way too early for my eyes to behold those colors. The sight of that tree and its changing leaves triggered my most recent round of inquisitiveness.
I asked myself “Why am I in Michigan?” No response came.
Then I asked God, “Why am I in Michigan?” The answer I got did not arrive in the form of a lightning bolt hitting the ground in front of me, nor was it a great epiphany of any sort. It was just very soft and subtle, asking me to compare myself to the tree with the changing leaves. Compare myself to a tree?!?! Crazy, right? Not really. I tried it and here is what I came up with.
The tree has roots buried deep in the ground, and there is very little that can sever those roots. Hmmm…I have roots. I have family and friends that I love and care about. It would take an eternity to sever those ties.
The tree has taken years to mature and grow into the solid configuration it has become. I myself have done a lot of growing over the years. I have made mistakes and I have learned from them. I have become a strong, solid and confident individual.
That old tree has provided shelter and shade with its outstretched branches, yet has probably lost a few branches to the wind over the years. Guess what? I raised a family. I provided them a shelter, food, guidance and unconditional love over the years. Sure, I had a few broken moments in time. Times when my kids weren’t perfect angels, and pushed me to my limits; times when my husband and I have disagreed and argued. But I survived all of that, and so did they. I am certain there will be more of those broken moments in my future, but again, I will survive.
The last comparison I thought of is the one that stands out most for me. The tree isn’t fighting to keep the green leaves. It will gracefully let go and let those red, orange and yellow leaves appear. With all those colors, the tree seems to glow where it was planted. It was then that I realized that I need to take what I have learned in life and share it with others…let them see the hope that is there and the beauty that will be. I am here to glow where I have been planted.
Glow where you are planted. It can only make this world more beautiful.