It was a single seed planted before I was born by a man I never meet. A simple act, but as I ran my hand over the wood that formed the structure of our home I could not help but be thankful for that simple act that gave us so much.
It is common in my husband’s tribe for fathers to plant trees for their sons. Years later those trees are harvested for wood which are then used for building. On a wet, cold evening my husband grabbed a bush knife and a raincoat and headed out to plant trees for our son. He had just turned six months old. We were about to leave the village, so he made it a priority to finish before we left.
We spent a little over a week sleeping in the house built from that tree. The house has come along way, and I am so thankful. Not only do we now have a permanent house for our little family, but we also have a place for teams to come and stay and a place for family and friends to sleep when they visit.
I never had a chance to meet my father-in-law. Sadly, he passed away the year before my husband and I met. But, he left a legacy with that simple act of planting a tree for my husband when he was just a boy. I think about him when I walk past that huge tree stump still sitting in the churchyard. He never had the chance to meet his newest grandson, but he left a legacy, and we are all grateful for that.
It seems the older you get the less “wow” moments you experience. Maybe it’s because our imaginations have developed to the place where we can imaging almost anything, and reality rarely meets those high ideals. Yet most people still keep dreaming, imagining, hoping for something to stir that illusive place in the soul that begs for the magic of being completely in awe.
I was privileged to experience one of those moments the day before my 25th birthday. During a birthday getaway in California two of my friends and I decided to explore the country side. After consulting guide books and getting a recommendation from another guest staying at the hostel, we decided to hike the Skyline to the Sea Trail in the nearby state park.
The hike began on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. We lingered at Waddell Beach for awhile admiring the waves and seagulls, but then we left the surfers in their wet suits far behind as we heading up trail.
The trail wasn’t one of those sissy trials carefully lined with boards and smoothed out gravel. It was a real rugged trail with a steep inclines, and fallen trees which served as bridges for crossing the creek.
For me, the wow moment came when the path took one of its many turns opening up what looked like an enchanted forest. So far the many red wood trees we had passed stood quite stately. The sunbeams streaming through the giants’ branches was a sight to behold just as I had imagined it would be. But then we turn a corner, and the forest turned into a mystical secret garden exceeding even my dreamy expectations.
The trees were white and still. I felt like I had entered a place where no other human had been- some kind of tangled land where elves lived. I felt at peace and empowered at the same time. It’s in those moments when I feel God’s love the most. Something inside of me finally gets it and I think, “God you’re an artist. Your world is more beautiful than I can imagine, and your love deeper than I can express.”
I took a picture of my friend Lydia walking underneath the trees. Beth was already up ahead. In my mind I froze the moment that feeling of complete peace mixed with wonder and silent admiration. As Louis Armstrong used to sing, “I see tress of green, red roses too… and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” At lest those hidden moments make it wonderful, and that’s what I want to hold on to.