It’s Gratituesday! See this tree? Yes, it’s a tree, not a bush. It’s called a Poinciana. It’s died twice, well, practically died, I suppose. It’s very frost sensitive. When we get our one or two hard frosts each winter, regardless of my heroic efforts to cover it in sheets, water it deeply and protect it from the damaging freeze, it takes a major hit. Two years ago it certainly had died. All those lush leaves turned brown and fell off, while the branches also kind of curled up at the ends. I pruned when Spring arrived, not terribly hopeful of anything coming of it. When, lo and behold, a second trunk shot out of the ground beside the first dead one, produced copious branches and became a full leafed six foot tree by summer. Amazing.
This past winter, in spite of my best efforts, it froze again, although not as badly. The center and underside stayed green and leafy, only the tops froze. So the tree got shorter, but fuller. Even with a mild spring and plenty of water it hasnt gotten any taller. It really looks like a massive bush now.
What does any of this have to do with what I’m grateful for this Tuesday?
I’ve been looking out my back window every day for a week now, watching the branches and leaves on this stunning tree wave in the breeze. Reminds me of a long green velvet robe undulating behind someone running across an expanse.
Look closer at the bottom of the photo. See my nearly dead grass. That’s with regular watering. Nothing I do will revive it. I hope it makes it through the summer.
This tree, thriving and surviving and growing and showing off in the breeze, does so in the midst of a desert. Rocks, harsh temperatures, the driest of dry humidity, and very little care. I wonder if it knows how rare and beautiful it is. I wonder if it recognizes how rich and abundant its life appears.
I feel that way about my own life. I live, by any measurable standard, a rich, wildly free, abundant life. In spite of a drought I have water available.
That joke people are always throwing out about “first world problems” isn’t really funny. It’s meant to shine some perspective on our ridiculously abundant lifestyle.
I have nothing to whine or complain about. Nothing.
I have all I need. I have most of what I want. I have more than enough and then some. Lately, I’m almost ashamed at how rich my life is.
But instead of shame, I feel immense gratitude. And naturally, along with that feeling rides a desire to give back, to share, to help, to spread the wealth.