The Tree of Life

By Ana Borden

We have a massive cypress tree that shades us from the summer sun. By the time fall rolls around, with each breeze, the leaves fall through the end of the year. Our yard becomes topped with a golden-brown layer throughout most of the first half of winter.


With the help of our younger two, we find joy raking all of the leaves and relocating them into our flower beds, providing a deep layer of mulch to protect the Louisiana irises, our sweet bay magnolia and other plants. There are so many leaves, we fill an entire garbage can to use the next fall!


As the leaves decay, it is amazing knowing how it is helping new life grow by actually revitalizing the soil. The leaves protect plants from cold temperatures while they continue to develop and prepare to bloom in spring and make their appearance in a few weeks.


I can’t help but find comparisons of our very tall, old and cherished tree to stories from the Bible. Jesus talked about the kingdom of heaven being like a tree. He loved us so much that he died on one. Trees provide us shade, absorb water to protect us from floods, provide beauty and nurture and protect us and the animals in our kingdom under its branches. Even in the “death” of its leaves, he lives on, continuing to protect new life so as to prosper and live his word. 


Often times, I hear neighbors express the nuisance and burden of fallen leaves. Instead, let’s embrace picking up leaves as if they are messages from Jesus and his love for us, and use our energy to exercise our minds to see the joy of new life while “spreading” Jesus’ messages.

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