The Cherry Weeps…..But Then Blooms

My precious yard guy and I had a discussion last summer. My weeping cherry had fallen victim to some sort of tree disease that was going around. Trees all over town were hit. The greenery died prematurely.  He looked at it and said “It’s dead, Kim. You’re probably going to have to get rid of it.”
I love that tree. It’s the perfect size, the perfect shape. I love where it sits in my yard, right above my glorious quince bush. (I just found out the name of that bush this year thanks to my Facebook friends. They teach me things all the time that I can’t easily Google.) Whoever landscaped my yard did a wonderful job. The idea of losing this perfect tree was inconceivable, I just couldn’t. 

So I denied it. I wouldn’t believe it. I declared it was still alive. He gave me that indulgent “OK….we’ll wait for now, but you’ll see.”
So I waited. It had no leaves the rest of summer or through the winter. With the warm weather, the quince bush below bloomed. Amazing, vibrant orange. But the weeping cherry was desolate in comparison. No blooms there.
Then this week. I was in the car, pulling out of my driveway, and looked in that direction. I saw cherry blooms. Not the normal covering, but some. There are signs of life there. You have to look a bit closer, but it is beautiful. It seems to be getting better. The blooms seem to be increasing.
It’s interesting to me that this happens as we begin the countdown to Easter…..the celebration of rebirth. Sometimes we are that tree. Sick and hit by outside and inside plagues. Worn down and tired and a bit dead inside. And worn out. Ugly. Purposeless. Trying to find our joy, but we just can’t touch it. And those who look at us do so with pitying eyes that see the disease, that see the death, and doubt our possibilities. Sometimes we believe them. Sometimes that inner glimmer shines just a bit, defiantly, and we refuse to live as dead.
Then it happens. We start to bloom. We come to life. Slowly,  but surely, we fight the blight. Sometimes beyond us works to make us the gorgeous vision of what we were meant to be. Even we seem a bit surprised of the change.
I love the message of Easter. I’m starting to enjoy observing the season of Lent. Anticipation of the dead coming back to life. The renewal of our purpose. The death of winter turning to the blooming of spring.

I’ve felt a bit of the blight lately. Tired and rundown. Emotional and a bit purposeless. I’ve been challenged by several to observe Lent in some very positive ways. To give away my stuff that sits unused. Let it have new life in someone else’s hand.

The ladies of my church are going to focus on the simple act of walking. Together and on our own. Adding the disclipline of action. Maybe praying as we go, for ourselves and each other and our world. Maybe communing with God. Maybe encouraging each other. Maybe letting God encourage us. Maybe celebrating our bodies and where they are now, and where they can be if we treat them well. Maybe looking around and seeing needs we can meet.

Some people use Lent to give up things that have a hold on them, Just 40 days of this self denial can give new perspective. Especially if you replace it with positive things that free you.

I’m someone who easily loses focus. I need to constantly reset. This is not a bad thing. It is who I am and I know it about myself. It is who most of us are, I believe. We have short attention spans and we are prone to wander. I eventually re-evaluate and recommit to living my purpose, even as that purpose changes. Sometimes just moving forward in faith, not sure where God is leading me. I’m at that place now. Feeling like change is coming, and preparing to embrace it. To set the fear aside and live life well.

God is here. He leads me to good things. He reminds me he is bigger than people. That ultimately he is in control. And that which worries me or paralyzes me is in vain. He shows me that this short life can be long and eternal. We all change this world forever…..the question is how. Do we improve it, make it worse, or increase the mediocrity?

For now that weeping cherry tree is not weeping. It blooms. It is adding beauty to the world. What is ahead for it? I have no clue. But for today I will celebrate it and be glad I wasn’t hasty to remove it. It brings me hope and contentment and a reminder that the experts and those who give us their opinions are sometimes wrong. It makes me smile. Sometimes you need to go with your gut and live in anticipation of the gift of rebirth. Joy.

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