Our mini-forest is one of the best features of our home place. Over the years, it has provided a sense of being outside the city with extra privacy. While we were still working, our location provided ease of access to the church, shopping, and medical care.
One of the drawbacks of living in a mini-forest is the inability to grow certain plants and trees. For example, we don’t get the bright colors of leaves changing on deciduous trees or shrubs. In the summer, sun-loving flowers and plants laugh at us as we place them in our nursery cart. They only last a short time before fading away.
Thanks to our next-door neighbors I can glance out my office window and see a glorious sight. A red weeping Japanese maple. On these chilly, gray days of Pacific Northwest winter weather,
that tree is symbolic of a warm campfire, or a thick red blanket, or the depth of love found at home with family.
As I soak up the warmth and beauty of this tree, I am filled with gratitude for God’s creation all around me. The diversity of people I know and see in our community and our church home. The fall colors brightening our environment despite the rain and fog. The gift of friendships committed to staying in touch during this pandemic.
It is my hope that you are fortunate enough to find something for which you can feel grateful despite this year that has often felt dry and devoid of warmth, happiness, and love.
Featured Image Attribution: Bates Nursery & Garden Center
What a glorious tree! Thank you for the reminder to be mindful of the gifts all around us, Sherrey. I woke with the now-familiar heaviness and needed it. Wishing you a day filled with such things.
Linda, I’m glad the timing of my post aligned with your needs. The heaviness, all too familiar, has been with me for so long. Let’s join together and attempt to focus on the gloriously good things around us!
Sherrey, I have always had an affinity toward trees. I love them all and this one is exquisite. It seems we can always turn to nature to get in touch with gratitude during these overwhelming times. Thanks for sharing!
Indeed we can turn to nature to feel the importance of gratitude during this strange and overwhelming time in our lives. Bob and I love trees, and it was heartbreaking to find ourselves having to cut down three which were very large and too close to our house. Hope this finds you and Wayne doing well. Thanks for stopping by, Kathy!
You write so beautifully, Your symbolic description of the red weeping Japanese maple, was a joy to read. Yes the tree is so lovely. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent for writing descriptively.
Charlene, such a lovely image of you. Thanks for your encouraging comments. I’m happy you enjoyed reading this post.
What a lovely tree! How kind of your neighbors to have one for your enjoyment 🙂 Our mini-forest (or jungle as I often call it) is similar to yours. Our part of the street has quite a few trees and so for a long time we didn’t bother with planting anything but azalea bushes. Their blooms are lovely but they don’t bloom for long and usually only in the spring. Not too long ago I started buying flowering plants for photography purposes. Most recently, a neighbor took down one of their trees and, oh, boy, we have new a shaft of sunlight to help the plants bloom! I’m feeling very grateful for that 🙂
My apologies for being a slow responder! You wouldn’t want me on the frontlines right now. 🙁
Yes, we’re blessed with lots of azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and I can grow the largest pot of impatiens you’ve ever seen. My shade-loving garden! Fortunately, the hydrangeas hang on here for quite some time as do some shade lovers that we plant each Memorial Day weekend for summer color. We just had to (note: had to) cut down three trees and it’s amazing the light and sunlight that comes in. Can’t wait to plant some things there this summer. Like you, I’m feeling grateful for that! 🙂
Never worry about being a slow responder, Sherrey. As you can see, I am one too 🙂
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