As I move forward in my relationship with God, I find myself more in love with life. I don’t mean daily living; I mean human life, animal life, and plant life – the actual state of being alive. For a short while this morning, I found myself staring lovingly at a little plant my brother had planted and dreaming of planting something myself just to watch it grow. It wouldn’t need to be a fruit tree or a vegetable producer or even flower. It would need merely to be alive.
Green is my favorite color. It is the color of life. I have read that most color that enters the human eye is interpreted as green. Perhaps God wanted us to see it more than any of the other colors. The place I live is brown and tan, sadly, so it always has a feeling of being dead. Even where there are patches of green grass, it is never rich and lush, but it is hardy. Yet even the brown grass and wheat are alive. God has blessed both of them, and somehow in the incredible heat of the summers here, they flourish for the blessing of other creatures. The brown grass looks prettiest in the fall when there are changing leaves. In this way, all of the world dies together and is baptized in the waters of the snow. And every year, it is reborn to new life even though – like humans – many trees retain the same body they grew in the years prior.
How beautiful it is that this cycle repeats year after year as a reminder that new growth always follows the coldest parts of our lives.
There is a young tree on the west side of the place I live. It needs protection from the wildlife that wants to scrap it. So far, it has managed to survive a couple of winters here and continues to grow. Such young sprouts, in contrast to their larger, more mature counterparts, invite me to think of trees as the hair of the earth. When the earth is alive and well, it grows hair and its hair grows.
As I look outside my window, I can’t help but smile at the bushy leaves on the ends of branches. When old age comes and the earth goes grey, I’ll be out with a rake, sweeping up the earth’s dandruff and thinking what a gift God has given us of life and season. And that will bring a smile to my face once again.