Today is a waiting day, in a year that feels like a never-ending waiting season. It feels more like waiting to have major surgery than waiting for Christmas. It would be magical thinking to imagine that we will have clear election results soon, that the results will be accepted without numerous legal maneuvers or violence, or that we will wake up on November 4 and discover that everything in our nation and world has been righted and the last months were already beginning to feel like a bad dream that is over, overnight.
I look at the front door and I can see the sapling that I planted a few weeks ago doing just fine in these cooler days. Planting it was an act of hope and desperation since the one I planted in June never did take root and looked more like a Charley Brown Christmas tree than the dogwood it was supposed to be. Maybe this is the perfect time of year – and season in our nation and world – to do some planting.
Joe Lehnen, a member of our congregation and a forester by profession shared a photo he took of a framed cover from American Forests Magazine, December 1981, that graces a wall in the family living room. It features a magnificent snow-covered pine tree in a forest, with the following anonymous quote: “Of all who plant and tend a crop, only the man (sic) of God and the man (sic) of the forest dedicate their lives to a certain faith in an everlasting harvest to be enjoyed in some future time by others.” (Please excuse the use of masculine pronouns.)
We sit under the shade of trees planted generations ago, eat fruit and nuts from trees we didn’t plant, drink wine from vines brought from other lands and planted decades ago. This is a season for planting for the future. Trees of justice that will set down roots to hold all that is right in place. Trees of love whose branches shelter us in good season and in bad. A tree for the healing of this – and all nations.
Vote – and plant! ~ Anne