Sap Rising

 

Big tree

 

Here in our part of the woods, the Southern hemisphere,  Spring is coming.
The sap is rising is an often heard description of early spring.   If you cut into the stem or branch of certain trees  on a cool spring day, you may see sap dripping from the cut end.

Did you know ?

In early winter, deciduous trees enter a dormant phase.   They drop their leaves, move sugar to their roots and wait for warmer temperatures to return.   During this time, as long as the temperatures are above freezing  (water is still liquid), water will continue to flow into the roots.
Trees will absorb water until the water pressure in trees is equal to the surrounding soils.
When air temperatures rise, the tree is primed and ready to go.   It’s flush with water and starts moving sugars from its roots to the twigs, supplying the energy needed to grow new shoots and leaves.  Ref : Woodlandtrust.org.uk

Isn’t Nature wonderful ?   There are so many wonderful lessons we can learn by observing nature.   The soil, the seed, the plant, and the seasons – the essences and cycles of life.    And these cycles of life have one purpose in mind – to restore, replenish, rejuvenate and  resurrect.
All done in the silence and mystery of the nature of things.
Sometimes when a tree is cut right down, and the stump gets a scent of water, it will send out shoots in anticipation of new life, of resurrection.

Job 14:7-9.  says it beautifully

8.    For there is hope for a tree,  if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,   And its tender shoots will not cease
8. Though its root may grow old in the earth, And its stump may die in the ground.
9.  Yet at the scent of water it will bud,  And bring forth branches like a plant.

Resilient humans are like that too.    When brought low, they may be dormant for a while then at a hint of hope, will rise up, like the sap in a tree at the coming of a new spring.

To continue in the metaphor of the tree, there is also a pruning season. Why a pruning season ?   Well in nature, the reasons for  pruning trees are  –  beautifies them,  helps the tree to grow, encourages fruit production, removes hazardous branches, treats diseases and improves vistas !   Most humans need pruning too, that is spiritual pruning, probably for the same reasons trees do, only we may feel the pain of it more intently.

images (3)
In trees is the breath of life.  They take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, a commodity we cannot live without.   They fulfill such an important part of our existence here on earth.   They provide the nutrition of good food to keep us healthy,  wood to keep us warm, and paper to write our hearts on.  On a hot summer’s day they give shade to man and beast.     And they are a beauty to behold.

jacaranda trees

I love the parallel between people and trees.
In Scripture there are many descriptions of people like trees :

Psalm 104:16   The trees of the LORD are full of sap,  The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,

Psalm 92:12  The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.  He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.   13.  Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.   14.  They shall still bear fruit in old age,  They shall be fresh and flourishing. 

Isaiah 55:12    ….   And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 

Job 8:16   He grows green in the sun, and his branches spread out in his garden.  

I think God likens people to trees.  I like to think that in His fields of Faith, throughout the ages and generations He has planted many seeds.  Some seeds (souls) lie dormant for a long time, some come to fruition in their time.
In the fullness of time, the seeds begin to grow, and if watered and nurtured by His Word, they fulfill their destiny and His purposes.
Of course there are dangers around every turn to prevent the souls from coming into their full potential.   Danger lurks everywhere once the stem pushes through the soil.
But once the seed becomes a fully grown tree it provides beauty, shelter, shade and food for others to enjoy.    In its season, the sap will rise, to bear more leaves and branches, to give more fruit and more shade.
A season for pruning may come, to cut away distorted growth, diseases and the necessary surge for new growth to take place.  All to the advantage of the beautiful tree.

God watches over His fields of Faith, the planting of the Lord.   He knows and sees the trees of the field, and knows their needs, their desires and their seasons.  He lovingly waters them and nourishes them with His care and by His Word.

So in this new Spring season I tell myself,  ‘don’t be a dying stump, reach for the promises of God, allow the sap to rise, and grow new praise branches.’

 

green-graphene-gum-trees-1

Consider the Seed

 

VeryBerryPorridge

I have been on one of my jaunts, and down numerous rabbit holes looking for good food.
I have come to the conclusion that pretty much everything needed for our consumption for a healthy life is tied up in nature, and more pertinently in the small but mighty seed.

In my meanderings I started off in Genesis, and found, what seems to me to be a comprehensive summary of God’s provision of food for man and beast.   I read that on the third day God spoke –

” And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit whose seed is in itself according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good. ”  Genesis 1:12

Seeds are the primary method of propagation in most plant families.
And so God in His goodness and provision perpetually stocked up man’s pantry for food, as a self producing food factory, all through seeds.

When I told my husband that seeds are good for him, he promptly told me that he was not a budgie !!    That is what comes to most minds when we speaks of seeds.  But seeds are so much more than bird food or cattle feed.

seeds
I researched and read that there are different types of seeds.
GRAINS :    A grain crop is a grain-producing plant.  The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.   Grains and cereals are synonymous with caryopses the fruits of the grass family.     ref : Wikipedia
Examples of grass seeds  :  maize, millet, barley, oats, rye, spelt,wheat,  sorghum.
If you think about it these form the basis of our cereals, providing health-sustaining food for our bodies.
They form the staple diet of many people groups, and their nutritive value is immense.

green-peas

Legumes : or grain legumes are members of the Pea family and they are higher in protein.
Some examples :  Chickpeas, common beans, common garden peas, fava beans, lime beans, lentils, lupins, mung beans and soybeans.

HERBS

thyme

In general use, herbs are plants with savoury or aromatic properties that are used for flavouring and garnishing food, medicinal purposes or for fragrances.  Ref : Wikipedia
Some examples : Basil  Parsley, Thyme, Sage and Dill.

 

Fruit

FRUIT  AND  VEGETABLES 
Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant-parts, such as roots, leaves and stems for example :  
Fruit – apples squash tomatoes,  – while roots such as beets, potatoes turnips,  and leaves such as spinach, kale and lettuce, and stems eg. celery, broccoli are all vegetables
Ref : http://www.livescience.com

peach fruit

Fruit trees :
The fruit tree and their seeds provide us, with a little heaven on earth.
Fruit has natural filtered water, natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, flavours and other nutrients too.  Cool and refreshing, nutritious and absolutely delicious all at the same time – and a veritable natural pharmacy !

Dr Cherry in his book The Bible Cure says :
Grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables are sources we have available to us for carbohydrates.
The main focus of your food intake should come from the following groups of complex carbohydrates
+  Green/yellow vegetables.
+   Grains, including cereal, rice, whole grain breads,
+  Fruits.
+  Beans and Peas  

What astonished me, was the fact that this food is self-generating – of course terms and conditions apply e.g. good soil, moisture, sunlight, and air must be in supply.

One definition of a seed :  A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food.  It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plant which occurs after fertilization and some growth with-in the mother plant.   Ref : http://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/seed
What is an Ovule ? – the part of the ovary of seed plants that contain the female germ cell and after fertilisation becomes the seed.

Perhaps that is a bit to much information !   But seemingly a pattern is set, which I suspect is a pattern for not only food but for the way of Life itself.  The ovule, is where the seed grows.   Humans too come from the same concept.   There must be a blue print for the pattern of Life.
The life-cycle of the seed, to me, reflects such a pattern.

However, apart from the marvellous provision that the seed provides for our good food, our health and well-being,  the seed also illustrates for us life-lessons.
“Be fruitful and multiply’   That is the purpose of the seed to be productive and to cause increase.
“There will always be seed-time and harvest time –  a pattern for the prosterity of life.  There are seasons in our personal lives too …… ” a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to make war and a time to make peace”
“Sowing and reaping” is a principle not only applied to the farmer, but to reciprocity, to  finance and even hinge on justice and reprisal.
Seeds are in our genealogies.
(Yes,  somewhere in every family tree there may be a nut!)
God planted a seed  in Abraham, with the promise of many many descendants, even while his wife Sarah was old and barren.   Abraham believed God, and so began the story of the People of Faith, who  would exponentially grow in history,  to make the invisible God known to the nations of the world.
Hidden in plain sight, but perhaps a little obscure in the heap of histories,  is Jesus Christ, who is Abraham’s Seed,  (ref : Gal 3:16)
God’s promise of salvation for the People of His Promise, that would extend far beyond Abraham’s imagination.

Not all seeds grow, but all have potential to grow  – (author unknown)

A seed can hold a destiny, because faith (what you think and what you believe) is like a seed.    The promises of God are the seeds of faith.  We can believe them, nourish them in our thought-life to grow a better and more abundant tomorrow.
The Seed is the word of God  – Luke 8:11
It is good spiritual food for intellectual understanding, and the sound development of  mind, soul, and spirit – and that of our societies !

Mustard_Seed Tree

But there is another life lesson the seed brings to us, and it is that of transformation.
“………  unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.  (John 12:24
If a grain of wheat dies, it can produce and become more.  More grain,  – and more bread to give food and life to many who are hungry.

wheat ear

That is perhaps the hidden essence of life – to die so that there can be a rebirth.   A surrendered life of ‘becoming’ is an ongoing process, but carries with it seeds of great magnitude, and a new consciousness.    One just has to ponder the story of the Cross of Christ, and the resurrection power of transformation.

All plant life starts with seeds.   They are small, but they are mighty.   Seeds are not just little ‘husky’ things, but carry various and necessary compounds that work in our bodies in many precise and methodical ways to grow cells or to repair damaged ones.  Therein lies the wonder of the seed.
Seeds, plants and nutrition all have a part to play in the restorative power that can bring healing and wellness to a sick body.

Plants are loaded with essential minerals, vitamins and disease-fighting nutrients that are often lacking in our modern-day diets.
I read of some cancer fighting plants, with their unique compounds found in their substance :  There are many more of course
Garlic and Onions : – Allium compounds, which increase activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help to break down cancer causing substances.
Grapes : contain ellagic acid., this compound blocks enzymes necessary for cancer cells to grow, thus slowing the growth of tumors.   Grapes also contain compounds that can prevent blood clots.   Another substance in grape skins (resveratrol) prevents deposit of cholesterol in arteries.
Citrus Fruits  – contain limonene, which stimulates cancer-killing immune cells (T-lymphocytes and others)   Oranges are shown to have strong anticancer benefits.
Some 60 anti-cancer chemicals contained in citrus fruits.
Tomatoes –  contain lycopene, an anti cancer substance, some researches suggest may be stronger than beta carotene.
Watermelons, Carrots and Red Peppers also contain this powerful substance.
Broccoli and Cabbage  – contain indoles, can effect estrogen converting it to a benign form that will not stimulate abnormal breast cancer cells.   These cruciferous vegetables contain multiple cancer fighting chemicals.  Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower also fall in this category.
Ref : The Bible Cure. Dr Reginald Cherry M.C.  Siloam Press.

vegetables-colorful

I for one, would like to applaud those who are sowers of seeds, the farmer, the teacher and the preacher, for they scatter seeds that bring us good food for increased growth, health and sensible development.

But there are those who would modify the preciousness of the seed. These modifiers are those who tamper with the health and well-being of many generations to come !!   To them I say  ‘hands off our seeds’.

seed shoots

So in my jaunt in search of good food, the seed became the focal point of consideration.  Think about it, what comes first :   the seed, the plant, the flower, the fruit, the death and then the rebirth – a cycle and a pattern for the good life, both physical and spiritual.

All that, and more is the precious seed from which plants grow and provide us with the most, and the best nutrition for sustaining the life of man and beast here on earth.

Here’s to good food and good health. Let’s be thankful and eat from God’s sustenance for us, provided ultimately through the Seed.

Yellow-Mustard-Seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have A Red Geranium Day

My geranium

 

My heart has a special place for red geraniums.   Whenever I spot one in a garden I am reminded of the smoothing sense that contentment brings.

A few years ago, our family went through a trial of testing and of change.  It always is a little disturbing when you can’t see the road ahead of you.   So many an early morning I would just sit quietly in my garden with a cup of hot coffee and soak up the moment.

One morning I began to see things in my garden, and my garden began talking to me !
And no,  I wasn’t losing it –  it was the flow of ponder that brought new insights.
I began writing down some of the musings taking place, eventually had a little pile, which I bundled together, and labelled  My Talking Garden.

Now that I am pursuing my drawing skills with more classes,  I decided to do a project by combining my muse-writings with  illustrated drawings, to publish on my blog from time to time
Here for you then, is my wish for you, and my muse on the Red Geranium.

Have a Red Geranium Day

In my garden is a small red geranium, seemingly leaning on the foot of the giant Strelitzia, growing in the corner, behind the bird feeder.
A morning blast of sunlight made this red geranium centre stage.
How brilliant the red I thought.
Not in itself heralding a call for focus, just being there, brilliant in its position, in its colour, in it own small glory.
My heart aligned itself to the red geranium, and for a moment that is what I wanted to be.
No want for the clamouring of position, of attention for love, of big dreams fulfilled.  No want to cry for the well-being of family and friends and country.
No want, no needs, no demands.
What bliss.
Just to be there, to bake in the glory of the morning Son, nestled at the foot of the Father – and for a moment just To Be.
To let go and to live in this day, no matter the busy, the chore, the pain, but to live in peace and in quiet.
Today I am going to have a red geranium day, I thought to myself,
And just be a splash of bright colour in my own garden, to rest in a kind of contentment that peace brings.
May you too, my friend,  have a red geranium day,
 and share this vast contentment that is mine today.

My geranium

Psalm  37:7
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

 

Re-bloom

 

beauty bouganvilla

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

 

hedge bouganvilla

A sunbeam-lit  Bougainvillea hedge

 

bouganvilla

Keep memory alive in a pot of beauty.

It was last year that I wrote on Beautiful Bougainvillea, so at the risk of being repetitive I am posting these pictures of the beauty that surrounds me,  to share it with you. The motivational gurus say if you want to be smart surround yourself with smart people.  I reckon if you want to be beautiful surround yourself with beauty.   And where can one find beauty at its best but in a garden.

I just could not helped being amazed at the lovely tangerine/pink Bougainvillea that I woke up to one morning, and met its beauty in a moment.   I mean it had been there all along, growing quietly and unnoticed until one morning it just said ” hello there ,  it’s re-bloom time again!”   And re-bloom it has, together with the other Bougainville’s in my garden.

It was John Keats who wrote in his poem Endymion ” a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its beauty increases.”     I don’t think that we can be in a garden and fully appreciate the loveliness of nature in all its forms.   Amazingly God first created a garden and then man, to care and maintain it.   What a setting He created for man, and for the story of man, to unfold itself from – a garden!   Not the cosmos, not a distant star or a shallow pool of chemical soup  – no, a garden !

One of the lessons I like to take from the garden is the grace of the re-bloom.  Just when you think you have ‘arrived’ reached the top of the pile with nowhere else to go , or sunk so low that you cannot breathe with the waters of despair wallowing around you, or all is so futile and irrelevant – and begin to think what really matters in life?,  or even when all seems done and dusted, there is then the time of the re-bloom.   Re-bloom – it’s a thread woven into the life of the Garden.   And into the garden of  Life it is called the second chance, or the grace of God.   It is a thing woven in and throughout the fabric of life – our lives and the principles in nature.   I have been heard to whisper (even if only in my own mind)  – it’s never over till it’s over.

And that is perhaps why I relate so strongly to the Bougainvillea, apart from its beauty and the sheer joy it gives in its abundant profusion of colourful little petals that have the capacity to mass itself in awesome displays, for those along the highway of life.
And if you pass by that way often, you will encounter their re-bloom, and then remember for yourself – the grace of God, the God of the second chance.

shine throu bogan

Bougainvillea a thing of beauty indeed.