“Grandpa and Grandma thank you and miss you!!” I texted my daughter and granddaughter after opening the FedEx box that arrived in mid-December. As I wrote earlier that month, Christmas 2020 certainly happened but not together as a family.
My daughter saw this picture I’d attached and texted, “It is beautiful – so glad!”
I responded, “Lovely white spruce. Should plant well in the spring.”
If it survived until then.
It’s not easy bein’ green
When Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog sang Joe Raposo’s “Bein’ Green” on Sesame Street, he expressed the feeling of being undervalued and overlooked because he was the color green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
Though a secondary color, green is hardly ordinary, biblically speaking. Green is made by mixing yellow—often associated with trials—with blue, usually in reference to the Word of God and living water.
In the Bible, the “living water” part of green symbolizes everlasting life, growth, resurrection, praise, prosperity, new beginnings, flourishing, restoration, fertility or fruitfulness.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”– Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)
The “trials” part of green refers to the fragility of human life. In Revelation, the Greek word ‘chlōros’ (as in chlorophyll) is used to describe the greenish-yellow pale horse of Death. So, it makes sense for humans to use yellowish green to describe feeling nauseous or green with envy.
Protected from the rigors of winter, especially the snow and ice we’ve experienced in the past several weeks, the young white spruce sprouted impressive new growth. Like children outgrowing clothing, the tree should be repotted. But I suspect it is near root-bound and ready to “leave home,” as children do.
When the danger of freeze has passed, I’ll plant the white spruce on the slope below our upper driveway. As I did with my children during their college years, I’ll cover the tree with insurance, watering it through the spring, summer, and fall—until it acclimates and is able to compete with the surrounding deciduous trees. Deciduous leaves change from spring green to autumnal red or yellow or gold, while the spruce remains evergreen.
I think it could be nicer, Bein’ red or yellow or gold, Or something much more colorful like that
Perhaps we all wish we were more colorful, standing out like flashy sparkles. But the bigger challenge, as we leave home, transplanted into the outside world, is to grapple with our greenness. To point to the blue sky and survive our yellow trials. Evergreen.
I’m green and it’ll do fine, It’s beautiful. And I think it’s what I want to be
Green. It’s not easy. But blue-green is my hope for the spruce tree, for myself and Keith, our adult children and little ones.
For all of us.
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