Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lenten Mercy~Meditation: Planting Trees in Lent



A cold, steady, early morning March rain is helping to settle in the roots of this Korean Fir tree I planted Sunday afternoon: The Fifth Sunday in Lent. It's good to plant a tree on a Sunday: anticipating Easter, day or re-creation.

Its Latin botanical name is Abies Koreana. Mature Korean firs produce brilliant, purple-blue cones, sitting upright on the tips of branches. The winged seeds first appear as yellow touches on the cones, set against soft, shiny green needles. What an imagination brought these trees into existence.

These trees are native to the high mountains of South Korea including Jejudo Island which is in the news these days as a new and huge American naval base is being built there.  The tree is already an endangered species, like seemingly everything else in nature. 

People live on Jejudo with a long history of art, culture, faith, and sadness too, as upwards of 40,000 civilians were massacred there (April 3, 1948) under the auspices of the United Nations and the United States Military Administration, with Japanese involvement. Reports of this sad slaughter remained suppressed until 2003. 

We should be planting trees all over the world and not chopping them down, and  tearing them up and dynamiting their earth-homes for more war-making.

In Germanic folklore, fir trees are symbols of life and light. Don't we need to keep the things of life and light up front each day? I must remember to go out back to visit this fir-seedling often, so the day's dead and dark news doesn't take me under.  


Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with is truth.  

Psalm 96: 11-13

4 comments:

  1. We very much need to keep the things of light and life up front. If we don't think positive thoughts, we will find ourselves unable to get past all the evils going on around us. There are still plenty of acts of kindness that go on. Keep eyes open and hearts aware.

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  2. A young tree rising up from the earth gives a sense of order to things. Watching the growth inch by inch, branch by branch, leaf by leaf, using only the sunlight and water from the heavens above. How beautiful and natural. It's how I know all will be right in the world one day. Because God provides what we need to persevere.

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  3. I have traveled somewhat abroad and in the US. After seeing food so sparse that many ate once a day in Africa, little water that you thought was gold also in Aftica along with no indoor plumbing for most and scarce electricity, the butt of a gun at your heels in Jeruselem, and little hope of faith at times in Europe, and yes here in Americas Apoalachia with its poverty, I still kiss the American soil upon each return home. We've done some pretty stupid things and the craziness and degradation of life in general can be overwhelming. But it is a sign of the times that the unbalance of life needs to almost explode like the blossoms on the fir tree before it all reassembles and returns to a new norm. Thank you for the photo and the reflection. It helps me reorder and rebalance what is important in life.

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  4. For me - I don't kiss any soil - I reserve my kiss for the soil-less Kingdom of God, which Christ advances and proclaims and actualizes. God's rule of love and justice and compassion. The older I get the more I'm apt to ask if I really believe what I just said? I do.

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