Spring Renewal and the Apricot Tree
Written by
Carol Hand
April 2012
Written by
Carol Hand
April 2012

As I was sitting on the back porch this morning, gathering my bearings for another Monday, I noticed that the decaying apricot tree across the yard had new leafs and blossoms all over its branches. This caught me by surprise since it was just a few months ago that I was talking with my Dad about how a small branch had came down, and upon closer inspection, the tree appeared to be dying. The wound on the tree where the branch came off showed dry and rotten tree guts. When I stepped back, I noticed areas of the tree trunk that were missing bark and looked just as rotten. My Dad said, "It looks like we'll be bringing this tree down in the summer." I looked at him and said, "Lets leave it for a while. It still provides some shade, and it's still a popular hang out for the birds and squirrels." The tree has lived in our yard for over 30 years. It has a long and gangly branch that reaches off to one side. Underneath that branch used to be a child's swing set. That tree provided shade when I was a kid, swinging happily and as high as I could get my legs to reach. I can't recall the last time it produced apricots, but it's branches used to be packed with them.



This morning, I marveled at the sight of this old, rotted tree, blossoming as if it were just a teenager. "Are you dead or alive?" I wondered... While the bare places on the tree trunk revealed twisted, dead wood, with deep cracks through out it, there were a thousand more spots canvassing its branches with tiny new baby branches, decorated with vibrant green leafs and pink blossoms. I anticipate more blossoms will start showing themselves in the coming days and weeks. The questions nagged at me though, "How can such a fragile tree produce fruit blossoms?"After about five minutes, I chalked it up to spring miracles and went to work...



I suppose I'm not really pondering the science behind this dead tree blooming, but more so I'm trying to reconcile this big mass of wooden death producing little sprigs of life at thousands of the tiny tips of its branches. Spring is a time of renewal for nature and humans. With Easter coming up, I think of what a symbolic testament this tree is to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He gave us new life through His death. Through his resurrection He gave us hope. When I look at this apricot tree I see death in the trunk, and new life and hope in the spring blossoms.



Through decades of harsh winter storms and summer episodes of rambunctious kids climbing all over it, this tree has remained firmly grounded. Each spring, it brings new life and new hope through its blossoms. I'm not sad that the tree appears to be dying at its core. Instead I celebrate its resilience and the new life and hope brought by the blossoms. Who knows, maybe it will produce fruit, which will drop a seed to the ground that will someday sprout a new tree. We silly humans get so caught up in worrying over the most trivial matters, or waste time arguing over the past when we could be spending our time celebrating the present. It used to not take such a strong wind to blow me over, but I've been through a few storms, and now I am more resilient. I've renewed my faith, and while I'm still perfectly imperfect, I've learned I can not only handle whatever comes my way, I can do so with compassion, love, and hope for myself and for others.



Happy Easter and spring time everyone. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty that spring reveals in nature and in yourself.  




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