God got a head-start on the spring planting for me this year, I noticed. A bumper crop of maple seedlings has sprouted – just about EVERYWHERE.
Our landscaping bed was carpeted with them this week…thousands, if not tens of thousands, of tiny green tenders – the delicate offspring of the two now-mature maple trees we planted in the back yard almost three decades ago.
Embryonic shoots have emerged from every patio crack as well. And our planters, awaiting this year’s stand of annuals – they’ve also sprung to life with an early crop of maple. Even the steps of our deck (already swept clean three times) bear ongoing witness to this year’s prodigious crop of helicopter seeds.
Known in botanical circles as samaras, the wind-borne seeds can tell you a little something about the previous season’s growing conditions – although not exactly what you might expect. Does it seem like you’ve got twice as many helicopters to wrangle with this year as last?
This may indicate the tree went through some stress during the previous year and it’s overcompensating through excessive seed production in attempts to carry on the species if the tree is anticipating more stress/death.
Don’t know if my trees have recently experienced stress…but I certainly did all this week, as I hoed and weeded and raked…trying to stave off Total Maple Domination.
More than once, the current surfeit of samara had me ruing the long-ago day when we’d decided to plant our now-prodigal trees.
But there’s another way to look at the abundance, I learned. A lesson that came to me courtesy of Grandson #1…who took particular delight in the shower of seedlings he set off with the flick of his wrist.
Simply by shaking a branch, he found himself immersed in an Easter story of sorts.
He encountered a bounty far beyond his human imagining…a scene, perhaps, not unlike what the Evangelist beheld in his vision of a new heaven and a new earth:
God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”
The One who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.