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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


By Tom Pappas

The bridge on our street, which crosses Antelope Creek, has been closed for several months because it is being replaced. Yes – months!  They’re saying June for completion. It’s the bridge we must cross to go to church. 

Laurel and I have walked the several blocks to the site just to inspect the progress. We go during work hours and sometimes after hours. It’s fun to guess the next steps and reasons for what’s going on.  We are observant of the precautions taken to respect nature as the work is done.  We are also attentive to the details of our neighborhood.

Our early spring (it’s mostly over) activated the flowering trees magnificently. The Bradford Pears, Redbuds and Flowering Crabapples were stunning. 

The family two doors down have a huge property with a privacy fence along the front that stretches most of a city block.  On the inside a good-sized redbud grows with a few of its limbs reaching over and out toward the sidewalk. Somehow a sizeable branch was broken and dangling – it likely happened during that heavy February snowstorm that snapped many branches all over town. 

God’s creation and energy is in each of us to do what we were intended to do.  I know enough about plants to know their purpose – the reason we have flowers – is to reproduce.  The broken redbud branch, when it was time to flower, out-flowered the rest of the tree.  Literally, when a plant has one root in the grave it goes to extraordinary lengths to reproduce.  That’s why not watering forces blooms.

That gorgeous branch dangling by the thinnest strap of bark, even in death fulfilled its purpose.

Nature is so awesome.  Sometimes the creative mind of God boggles my mind when I think about the wonder and complexity of this natural world we inhabit. I am thankful for the reminders of nature, and the choices I can make to work out my call on a day-to-day basis and not as the last task of my life on this planet.

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