Today’s Word from Susan Shira, Trinity Member…

The first thing I set to do when we moved into our house 23 years ago was upgrade the meager landscaping, and I knew just where to start…the flower bed in front of the French doors facing the street. I took inspiration from my mother’s house where she had planted a beautiful ornamental cherry tree named “Fuji” in her entry courtyard. As it matured the Fuji spread wider than taller, and the spring blossoming was spectacular with clusters of fluffy flowers hanging down like mini bouquet baskets covering the tree. That tree graced our house with the wonder of seasonal beauty over the course of its life, and each spring we would ohhh and ahhh over its beauty. Three years ago, we noticed a section was starting to die. A quick call was made to my sister, the Master Gardener. “Oh, twenty years is about the lifespan of a Fuji,” was her response. The next fall we had it taken down. We could not watch as our faithful beauty-bearing friend was felled.

That hole in the ground needed a new inhabitant. I headed to the nursery only knowing that I wanted a tree that would give both spring and fall interest. I was drawn to a tree with these charming little hanging fruits. It was a crabapple called “Golden Raindrops” with the description noting those fruits would feed birds in the fall after a spring blossom. I had just the place!

That tree is now starting its third season in our yard. I have not lavished my attention and energy on our yard in recent years. My time is much more focused on the life inside our walls as I help my husband deal with blindness, cardiac issues, and, more recently, dementia. The pandemic year was such a challenge as our support structure was pushed into the background. We had to go it alone – Grampy, Gram, and the ever-present Spirit of God.

Normally getting into the big spring cleanout in my yard occupies most of my days. This year, though, I can only garden in 15 or 20 minute chunks of time rather than in 3-5 hour segments. I was really discouraged yesterday when I completed my tiny weed-free patch because the rest of the yard was calling out to be refreshed too. I closed the door to my garden shed and asked God what the next steps needed to be in our life. “You will know in due time” came the thought. That thought normally reassures me, but this time it did not satisfy my soul.

This morning we were enjoying cups of coffee and tea. I glanced out the French doors and noticed the first open blossom on the crabapple tree. I began to describe the tree. “This tree blossoms after its small leaves push open. At the base of the leaves is where the tight pink buds abound. They open into small white flowers that will cover the tree, and in the fall, we know a dangling golden raindrop will hang in each blossom’s place. We also know the robins will feast on those fruits.”

I love this young tree as much as I loved the Fuji, but its message is a bit different. Fuji said, “Just wait until you see my spring glory!” Golden Raindrops says, “What comes next will bless you every bit as much as what has delighted you in the past.” I rest assured.

“To everything there is a season.” Ecclesiastes 3:1