Friday, August 27, 2010

Life Imitates Art

God creates art through nature. We as humans try to recreate that art with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and buildings. But no matter what colors we brush across our canvas, we are simply imitating God’s creation in nature.

I believe there’s a lesson for us in nature.

Trees are just one example. These magnificent giants have a rich history embedded with human tradition. The Bible talks of the mustard seed that blossoms into a tree, Jesus mentions Nathaniel being born under a fig tree, and then there is the troubling tree which Jonas sat under which withered away.

Loreena McKennitt has written many songs with the symbolism of trees including All Soul’s Night and Ancient Pines. Tolkien included talking, feeling trees in his Lord of the Ring’s classics.

I’m beginning to see how life is reflected in trees.

Saplings reflect man’s desire to start new. There’s so much promise in a new tree. There’s hope. It’s almost as if the tree is saying, “I’m just starting, but someday I will be great. I will stand tall.”

As trees grow their tender bark turns rough and cracks to deal with the harsh realities of nature. The growing tree says, “I’ve grown accustomed to these conditions and I’ve acclimated.”

Then there are the mature trees of many shapes and varieties and they all have stories to tell.

There’s the tree who’s grown in age and wisdom. Their branches reach tall and they have sturdy trunks. “I’ve lived well,” they say.

Then there are the trees that show emotion. Looking at how their branches reach out, they embrace the trees next to them, dancing in the breezes of the day. It’s almost as if they are saying, “Ah, I have loved well!”

But not all trees are so lucky. There are some that wither and die from disease just as humans. There are some that do not receive the nutrients that help them grow. Though they fight to survive, their trunks, branches and leaves reveal their battered existence.

Then there are my heroes. These trees grow tall and strong and they experience life in all its glory and in all its pain. They feel the joy and warmth of the sun, and the harshness of the bitter winters. But they survive and they live well. These trees have made adjustments.

I hope to be counted someday among these giants. I hope that I can say, “Life showed me what it had, and I made adjustments.”

(Note: this unusual tree is the same tree as shown in the top picture, it's just a different angle. No different for people...some adjustments you can't see unless you see the person from a different angle!)


Robbie Iobst said...

Wisdom. Pure wisdom. Love this Loretta! That picture of that tree is wild!

Loretta Oakes said...

Thanks, Robbie. That tree is wacky, isn't it!

Anonymous said...

I love this Loretta - but then I love trees, I always have. I think I have more pictures of trees than I do my children. Just kidding. There are so many things to learn from the nature God created around us. Creation is God's own sermon!