“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.

***

This week, I’m linking up with the Five Minute Friday Writing Community.

8 Comments

  1. Gary Fultz

    Green has always been my favorite color. The color of forest green, well handled.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Gary. God’s Peace. -C.D.

      Reply
  2. barefootlilylady

    This is a beautifully written post, Carole. We’re slowly losing two of our spruce trees. I hope to replace them someday, as I love their stately form and perpetual blue-green coloration.
    ~ Cindie

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      I’m so sad to hear about your spruce trees, Cindie. May others grow in their places. -C.D.

      Reply
  3. Linda

    This is really beautiful. Analogies that stick. 🙂 Blue and yellow make green. It is the pigment chlorophyll that collects sunlight to perform photosynthesis in plants. And it is God, our light, who washes us with His word and uses our trials to perfect our faith. Love watching a plant turn this way and that during the day in order to follow the sun. We should all be so wise! Keep leaning into the Son! Thank you so much!!

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Love how you expanded the analogies—sunlight, transformation, leaning into the Son! Beautiful, thank you, Linda!!
      -C.D.

      Reply
  4. bigskybuckeye

    Carole, enjoy the blessing of this white spruce tree. From my youth, I can remember a spruce tree growing from a tiny “thing” to a giant. As for green, your post had me thinking of the altar paraments being green in color following the Day of Pentecost.

    Reply
    • Carole Duff

      Ah Richard, your comments always offer another connection, another layer deeper into faith. Thank you! -C.D.

      Reply

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