Evergreen Growth

Are you ever struck by the quickness of time passing you by? Perhaps it happens as a significant event approaches (such as a birthday or anniversary), but sometimes it happens out of the blue, making you stop and wonder, “Where did the time go?”

Such a “Where did the time go?” moment hit me this past week. As I was rinsing off the morning dishes, I looked out my kitchen window and saw how pretty the fresh snow looked on our evergreen trees in the back yard. I decided to grab my camera and take a few pictures of the snow coated trees before the sun melted it off. And that’s when it hit me … how tall our evergreens really are! And that thought made me smile. Even though these trees may be strong and glorious today, it was only a few years ago that they were weak, brittle and Charlie Brown ugly.

My husband rescued our evergreen trees the spring of 2002. The builder was preparing the lot beside us for building, and my husband saw two barely-alive evergreen trees that were sure to be destroyed if left on the lot. So he pulled them from the ground and found a place in our “jungle” of a back yard to plant them … where they barely thrived.

By the spring of 2004, we couldn’t handle the jungle that was our backyard any more. It was full of pricker-bushes (that’s our term for weeds with lots of thorns), brush, and poison ivy and sumac. Plus to be completely honest, our backyard was unsightly … and we didn’t want to be “those neighbors” any more. So we hired a landscaper to remove all the nuisance bushes and design a simple landscape plan that basically took care of itself. The only requirement we had to our landscape plan was to include the two miserable, Charlie Brown looking evergreen trees. I think the landscaper rolled his eyes when he saw these sad saplings and said, “Sure, if you insist…” (I know what he was thinking because part of me was thinking the same thing: “Why bother?”)

But here’s the thing. My husband is from the Evergreen State: Washington. The Army has taken him all around the world, and there are a whole host of differences between Washington and where we decided to put down roots in my home-state of Pennsylvania. But perhaps the most striking difference, at least for me, isn’t the mountains or the massive bodies of water, but the lack of evergreens, at least in this part of the state. Evergreens are everywhere out there – you can smell how fresh they make the air. So the evergreen trees that Jason rescued and that we incorporated into our backyard was our little way of “honoring” Jason’s roots.

And since we landscaped the back yard, our evergreen trees have flourished. They grew from small saplings into trees thriving with life and beauty. And all of this happened in less than six years.

Why did this make me smile? I am not quite sure.

Perhaps it was the memory of my high-speed Ranger husband rescuing pathetically ugly saplings and nursing them back to health. Perhaps it was the thought of how quickly the time has passed … that it doesn’t seem possible that it was six years ago when the landscaper gave us that funny “Are you kiddin’ me” look. Or perhaps it was a smile of amazement that our precious evergreen trees have grown to a towering 12+ feet each.

No matter what precisely it was, though, our trees – through their growth – have also shown me how much we’ve grown, too.

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