Planting a Tree: A Ritual for Life

 To mark a special day for our grandson's life, we had a small back yard dedication of Caleb's life. A few friends and family gathered in Blake and Katie's backyard in Fayettville, NC. I gathered some soil from their yard and I shared that we will plant a tree for Caleb at Potter's Inn at Aspen Ridge in Divide, CO.  Blake's career will see him move many times in the future and having a permanent place for Caleb's tree to be planted seemed logical to have it at the retreat.So in the midst of the furry of life, we will go and plant an evergreen tree--a symbol of life--a symbol for Caleb to come and find shade in one day as both he and the tree grow and mature.Trees, in the Bible are the symbol for life. Psalm 1 describes the life of a godly man as a tree that flourishes in various seasons. I like that word for Caleb and I like the meaning for all of us. The Psalmist said:He is like a treeplanted by streams of waterthat yields its fruit in its season,and its leaf does not wither.In all that he does, he prospers.(Psalm 1:3 ESV)We're all moving so very fast. We need to sit in the shadow of a tree and take note. Caleb will survive many seasons in his life. Some he will thrive in; some he will endure but all he will witness and experience. When someone comes and sees this tree or perhaps any tree, we can pause and ask:Did someone plant this tree?How old is the tree?What history has this tree witnessed? Caleb's tree will soon be planted in a hole I will will dig. I will pour the rich earth from North Carolina into the crusted granite from Colorado and I will tend it. Every living thing needs care. Caleb's tree needs care. It will need water. It will need tending to--just as Caleb's life will.  I can envision one day, Caleb playing near this tree. Perhaps climbing it for a fantastic view it will offer among the branches which will become the stair steps up towards heaven.  Caleb's tree will give shade to those who come to see it.  One day he and I may picnic under it's branches. One day he may sit and ponder his own life. One day he may take his wife to this tree that was planted for his honor.  The tree will ground and anchor his life with meaning. His tree will become our tree to enjoy and to witness the growth and changes through the seasons.So, this week, I will dig the hole; buy the tree and plant it in the soil from North Carolina!