I have always loved weeping willow trees. In the yard next door as I grew up there was a willow tree with a fork in the bark low enough that we could climb in it and pretend it was a horse. Or imagine what we could do if we could build a tree house in it similar to Swiss Family Robinson. We could hide under the branches, and rake out “rooms” to play house. It was a wondrous tree. There was a mural with this tree in it in my best friend’s dining room, painted by her mother. I loved that tree and because of such great memories, I have always loved weeping willow trees.
We have many paths around our neighborhood and one of the main ones takes us by a weeping willow tree. The family who lived in the house built a treehouse beside it, not really in it, but beside it. It always looked like such a cool fort, half hidden by the trailing willow branches. Last year the family cut the tree way back and I couldn’t understand why the family would have pruned the tree back so drastically. This past spring I figured out why. The tree was dead. It would make me sad to walk by it remembering what it used to be.
This week when I walked by, I noticed something that was a little out of place. When I looked closer I saw….cucumbers.
Or maybe zucchini.
Whatever they were, they were not where they were supposed to be, 20-30 feet up in a tree. I of course took an immediate photo.
The image has stuck with me for days. As I do when things stick with me, I wondered what God could show me with these huge fruits out of reach in a dead willow tree. I am not sure if I should go with the idea that God can grow things in the least likely places, or the absurdity of trying to keep something dead and pretending it is fruitful with fruit because of its location, that it is useless.
Where in my life do I need God to grow life and fruitfulness in a barren landscape.
Where in my life do I need to let go of what is dead so that I can actually reach the harvest?
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal. 6:9, NIV)