In November, we planted a tree in memory of my father. When my husband brought the tree home from the nursery, I was skeptical that it would survive. It appeared to be near death, but he assured me that it would grow and blossom in the Spring. Almost daily I said, "Honey, that tree is dead!" And each time he responded, "I don't think so!" On March 6th, his faith became sight! It bloomed! I couldn't believe it! There were 6 - 8 blossoms on that skinny little "dead" tree! I could draw several spiritual truths from this, of course, but I'll just say that joy filled my heart and tears filled my eyes. My dad would have loved this tree! I recalled an entry in his journal regarding a tree he had planted several years ago: "Yesterday was the day I'd long awaited; it was the apotheosis of my magnolia tree. It has been growing, growing, growing despite the extreme cold of last January and the great number of leaves it lost as an apparent consequence. The first creamy white flower appeared and prepared to open. I don't think that I can verbalize the joy it brought my soul, for I was moved within my spirit to see this beautiful flower at long last make its royal display in its own unhurried, magnificent way. I guess the fact that it brought joy is the reason for my elation. A second bud seems to be following; they should be there from now on and hopefully be there long after I am departed. Perhaps a mockingbird will someday nest in the tree's branches and add the pure joy of natural music to the exquiste loveliness of the blossom through the years." I hope my flowering plum brings as much joy to me and to others who see it as my dad's magnolia tree did to him. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever!"
"For, lo the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."