Legends talk of trees somehow thriving in impossible conditions and bearing fruit for not only those who planted it but their children’s children’s children.
Their roots ran deep. Past the sand and rocks. Deep enough to find living water, hidden beyond sight of the caretakers. And their roots worked together to survive, sending up shoots around the main trunk, helping grow new trunks, new life.
And they couldn’t be killed off easy, either. Sometimes folks would ransack the town, knocking down buildings and burning everything in their wake. Sure, the trunks would burn and crumble to ash. But the roots would survive. Keep sending up more shoots. Folks would come back to a devastated town a few years later and see their orchards growing again, all on their own.
Its fruit was pretty useful as well. Cook it, eat it, mash it, press it. Oil was good for food, light, healing, and life. Just about everything you needed could come from those trees.
If one of them started to die off, just take some clippings from another younger tree and graft it in; the old trunk would eventually get pruned away and the new clippings would bind to the roots, keeping the life cycle going. Why, with a whole orchard cross-grafted across multiple generations, you could grow these trees forever.
They were immortal. In some languages they were called the “Tree of Life”.
So now let’s pretend you’re a faithful old Jewish man, hundreds of years back. When God decides to talk to you in your dreams, give your mind a picture it could rest on for a spell, to symbolize His love for you. Something that, if you really tended it well and shared it with others, it would spring up life deep down inside you and keep you going across multiple generations, too. It would make you immortal.Perhaps it was in a grove of trees just like this that He himself would come down and show His love, once and for all.
It’s a good day for remembering the Tree of Life.