Spring is upon us in BC.
Thousands of tiny white “snow in summer” flowers cascade over our retaining wall while brilliant orange tulips stretch for the sun. The neighbor’s magnolia provides a backdrop to our yard with its purple-blushed, white, saucer-sized blooms. Lime green growth is everywhere.
It’s hard to believe that two short weeks ago the heavy gray sky pounded the earth with a deluge of rain and wind gusts up to 90 km per hour. But reminders remain.
This week I drove by a field where a mature plum tree, still covered in pink blossoms, had succumbed to the elements and lay across the grass with roots exposed. And shallow.
In the middle of my jaw pain years, I wrote a piece about growing up as a teenager in the Arizona desert. I have long loved the Saguaro cactus and researched it for my story. It came back to mind as I pondered the fallen plum.
A Saguaro grows one core root reaching straight down about three feet to anchor it beneath the desert floor. Two other radial root systems exist, one tightly networked and the other spread out only as far as the cactus is tall. These roots remain close to the surface, sucking in scarce ground water and directing it to its pleats for storage.
This cactus is designed for adversity and survives in some of earth’s most hostile conditions. Summer temperatures soar to 48 degrees Celsius and less than 15 inches of rain annually provides little moisture.
By contrast our local trees are saturated with 60 inches of rain each year and flourish with roots that remain close to the surface, spreading more like a fan.
The beauty of lush green times in life are rich but I have also come to value the splendor of desert seasons. The process of drilling down into the heart of God during pain and difficulty, when circumstances more resemble sand and tumbleweed than emerald lawns and budding leaves, give root to faith.
When I compare these plants I find myself asking, “God, how can I have a root system that goes deep, anchoring me solidly and one that remains close to the surface, storing up the treasures of daily nourishment?”
Perhaps some time on the deck today in glorious sunshine will give opportunity to consider this matter more fully.
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst