When I was a young boy, one of the major streets near our house was lined with large Elm trees. They arched over the street to the point that it was almost as if we were driving through a tunnel like arbor. In the autumn, the leaves would fall and cover the street. It was an amazing picture. The leaves would blow into the air as the cars would pass. It was something like being inside of one of those snow-globes after they have been shaken. There is something amazing about a tree lined street. That street has long since changed and most of the trees are now gone, but that seems to be the way of life. Some of the most amazing things in life seem to pass so quickly.
In this part of the country, we don’t have nearly as many of those high arching trees, but we do have our special trees that ornament our lives. They even tell things about the character of the people around them. You see, I think trees are more than shade and ornaments. They are a depiction of life.
I know a street that is lined with trees. Most of the trees are those Bradford – fruitless – Pear trees. In the early spring, when the white blossoms cover the trees, they appear like giant snowballs. They are amazing, beautiful, and a promise of even better things. Until the late spring winds knock the fading blossoms they gather attention from all who pass.
Even in the fall, there is a message in the trees. Crimson is the peak of color. From the green of the summer leaves, the changing season brings the mixture of glorious reds. Quickly the color spreads over the tree, and the background of the green offers a vibrant realization of the ever moving changes of life.
Travelling north, I passed between the trees and was struck by the sight. On the east side of the street, the trees were completely bare. On the west side of the street the trees were still covered with leaves. Not only were those trees still covered, a large portion of the leaves were still green. Larger sections were red, and other parts were obviously undergoing change. I wondered. Why was there such a clear divide? I am sure there is some scientific and rational reason. I am just as certain that some of you could tell me the reason. Still, it is simply the status of things that strikes me. There they were, trees of the same type, but so very different in their development.
It strikes me that people are a lot like those trees. People surround us and we pass through them like leaves that have fallen from trees. They interest us. We are among them for a moment, and then they settle as we are gone. Then there are the trees that blossom early, attract attention, and then become simply a part of the scenery. And what of those who lose their vibrant color so much sooner than others. What is that all about? Yes, we see people around us, and in similar circumstances, but very different in development. It is hard to understand all of the reasons. It is easy to see that it is the way things are.
Maybe we all need pause to consider how we respond to the opportunities of life around us.