My husband and I were on some of the local trails, out to catch a few sunrise pictures, when we came across this large been-here-before-you-were-born tree. I love big old trees, but this one had me even more taken. It was intrusive.
Well technically the tree was out of the way of the paved easy-going path, but the roots did not hide themselves under the asphalt which was laid on top of them. Instead they continued to grow, expand, perseve, feed, and be known …the most natural thing for roots to do. However I could only imagine that they must’ve been considered intrusive, hazardous, and ugly for those who wanted a nice smooth path of walking, biking, and pushing strollers.
There’s a problem when we trade the beauty and functionality of the natural for the luxury and easement of the synthetic.
Roots are amazing. They are the testimony of strength. No massive sized plant is worth much without health roots. This has not been the focus of modern indstruidal farming and lumber harvesting. Too often the industrial and corporate like a top-heavy product and do not care about the long term effects. Roots care.
Roots preserve. Someone had posted a picture of their backyard getting washed out during a flood. The erosion was swift, massive, and it bared the roots of their big old backyard tree. Yet that tree stood like the defender of the backyard with its root system in place and holding firm all that was enlaced into its roots.
In farming and gardening as well, roots play a huge part and what the health of the plant and the over all garden or field will be. Roots feed nutrition not only to their plant, but it’s also believe they pull up nutrition into the soil around them, feeding the other plants and micro-organism as well.
Roots are the first thing that must grow on a seedling in order for the seedling to have any chance of success at all. Personal I’ve seen many different plants that can be cut down or pulled out, but if there is still a root system in the ground this plants will revive themselves. Roots are life-giving.
I am intrigued by roots. But this isn’t just about botany and biology, it’s about our life. It’s about our beliefs. It’s about knowing where you came from and who your roots are.
In Christianty there is the potential to tap into some deep, deep, ancient roots. There is also the potential to be part of the system of growing roots. The foundational people of the faith. There is the potential to go down and bring up much needed trace nutrients which can stop disease, deficiencies, and erosion.
If roots are this important why do they get no praise? If foundational people are this helpful why are they considered so backwards?
Roots are often hidden underground, doing work that goes unseen and often unconsidered. They may not seem as majestic as branches who colorfully sway with the seasons. Roots that do appear are often considered bumpy, hazardous, invasive, ugly, gnarled.
Often this necessary elements of a healthy field or forest are taken forgranted. Often these preserving vessels are only seen for their lack of smooth synthtic surface. They’re easy to get tripped upon for one who is not paying attention or is in a rush. Their exposed state maybe considered gnarly in comparison to leafy branches. Their strength and preservation maybe ignored. Yet roots continue to do their work, appreciated or not. We benefit from them whether we know it or not. Out of sight, out of mind does not effect the validity of the roots and foundational anchors.
There is a wisdom, if you will, that roots and foundational people of the faith live by that may seem contrary to the wisdom of those who dwell among the luxurious, synthtic, quick and comfortable, top-heavy systems. People may spend thousands of dollars to get rid of those bumps, but the same roots that can crack asphalt, can also sustain the earth and soil next to the river and keep it from washing out season after season as it gives life, hope, and sustainability.
I live an unsightly life. Nobody wants to be this. But I do.
I am not afraid of the deep places. I’m not afraid of never seeing the light again. I’m not afraid of the floods. I am not afraid of being walked on. I am not afraid of erosion. I am strong enough to know I can help only by being me.
While some find me in the way, others find me to be a solid step upon a steep hill, a guardian in the midst of a flood threatened landscape, a mysterious matter with unusual trace elements. I cannot be contained to a potted area. I need room to stretch, to expand, to grow. I’ll drill through strongholds to find something even deeper than what is known. I blaze my own path, which is never far from my core. I am connected, and my expanse does not demolish my connection, my feed, my response, my feeling.
I am only part of something bigger, but I love what I do. What I do is simply be who I am. It’s inglorious, but it’s beautiful in its own way.