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Lessons I Learned from an Old Cherry Tree

I have an old cherry tree in my backyard. It was there when my husband, Jim, and I bought our house twenty years ago, and we saw no need to remove it. It's a bit too close to the house for my liking, but it's a lovely tree, nonetheless.



During a severe spring storm a few years ago, our little cherry tree was cut in twain (in two). Half of the trunk and branches lay on the ground, twisted and mangled. The other half clung to the ground, with branches drooping. A heart-wrenching sight for certain.


Jim and I checked out the tree thoroughly. With half of the trunk missing, it hurt to behold. We seriously discussed cutting it down, but I just couldn't do it. The tree seemed to be whispering to me, "Give me a chance. I want to live."


We decided to give it a chance, even though it could have fallen on our house if we were wrong. While the cherry tree looked worse for wear with sparse leaves, drooping branches, and half a trunk, it refused to give up throughout the summer, fall, and winter. Come spring, it held its branches high and gave me beautiful blossoms. Then it offered me a few cherries in early summer.



Over the years, our cherry tree healed and grew. It expanded its trunk, spread its branches, and reached for the sun. I've often sought its cool shade for a break while gardening and enjoyed delicious jam I made from its cherries. My granddaughter chased her first bunny under its shelter as a toddler. And every spring, its beautiful blossoms bring me great joy.


The cherry tree could have died. It was, indeed, very close to death. However, it persevered. It grew taller and stronger. Losing half of itself only slowed it down. It has survived massive storms, huge hail, early freezes, late freezes, blistering sun, deep snow, and everything else Missouri weather can throw at it.


Many people would say, "It's only just a tree." While it's true that it is a tree, and we could have easily planted another, it's not that simple.


That cherry tree a symbol of strength to me. When I see it, I think about what having a strong will means. Like the tree, I was once close to death and had to fight my way back. We were both damaged but fought through the pain to become whole again. Because I had seen my humble cherry tree recover to the point where you can't even see the scars anymore, I knew it was possible.


Life brings us storms and sometimes deals us low blows. When that happens, we have a choice to make. We can wallow in our pain, or we can heal and grow strong again, standing tall and blossoming. I choose to stand tall and blossom.


Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven or like Ozarks Maven on Facebook.



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