About year and a half ago, I signed up with the arbor day foundation and was given ten free trees as a result. I remember well finding a package the size of a sunday paper, but inside were several very small baby trees no bigger than twigs with wraps of plastic and wet gel at one end. I was excited. I dug a deep bed in our front yard and planted then. I kept a chart to remember which one was the sugar maple, silver maple, red oak, pin oak, and river birch. Over the next year, I watched the blue spruce and white pine, the dogwood and red bud die. They really withered as many baby trees that big will. It is not easy to grow a tree nursery.
This past summer, I have watched several babies growing strong. The river birch was as tall as I am, 5’9. We decided that early this fall, it was time to move a few trees. I dug up two baby red maples (volunteers) and transplanted one to the back yard and one to the front yard. Both of them are doing very well and strong. The river birch however, had a hard time.
I wanted to really do this well, the transplanting. I know of caretaking. I know of plants and their emotional capacity to related to us humans. When i go into our garden to harvest food, I tell the each plant no to be scared of my knife. I tell them i will be quick and i am present to help the plant and appreciate its fruit. So when I planned to uproot a few baby trees I took my time, carefully grouping the roots together and telling the tree that I was being careful and that it would be okay. The birch did not come out with a root ball. It came out all exposed, root and all. I prepared a hole for it quickly and carefully. I was very careful and deliberate. Despite my best effort and a lot of watering, it seemed the river birch had died. After a few weeks, all the leaves had turned brown and fallen off. I spoke to it often encouraging it and praising it but to no avail. Every day I pulled out of the driveway and every night I got home I saw the bare tree and felt sad for it. In my head I thought about having to dig it up and what I would later transplant into the hole. It had gone from a tall green leafed strong tree to a bare branched skeleton.
Two night ago, I had a dream and in it I saw a few green leaves close near the trunk of the small tree,. When I woke, I went through a regular day activities. Then on my way to my truck to go to work, I noticed the tree and remembered my dream and went to take a closer look. There are a few small branches close to the ground with very small green leaves showing brightly against the brown trunk. The tree had told me in my dream that it was back. I was very excited. We’ve had two weeks of rain and I suppose it took flooding in some areas to bring life to others.
Life is like that. destruction for some means life for others. Even when all signs of life seems to have whithered and died, there is often hidden strength and vitality unlooked at. All is never lost. Have patience and faith and things can grow from that. reassuring