Friday, November 4, 2011

Counting Blessings whilst Heeding George’s Tree

Lately I’ve woken up to the notion that I should be counting my blessings, for blessed I am. I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world, I’m surrounded by a loving family and cheerful neighbors, and the website is making enough money to live on. Things were quite different a few years back – “God is teaching you valuable lessons,” was the ubiquitous observation, but I couldn’t wait to see the lessons end and rewards to start.

And that seems to be happening right now. And so I’m counting. I’m counting every kiss, every click, every sunny day I spend at Mica’s Paradise, every cup of nana tea I drink, and every bag of walnuts neighbors hand me when I pass by on my everlasting journey to find access to the river.

The other day Mica asked me why I wouldn’t move to her Paradise permanently. Even though it would be a wish come true and there are houses for sale here, and some land too, funds, unfortunately, are stretched pretty thin. I’ve been an engineer half my life, and I’m sure I could build a house all by myself, but where, if I only have money for either land or material?

Mica took me around the back of her house and calmly said, “Build your house here. I’m giving you this land.”

Moved to tears, I counted yet another blessing. It was almost too good to be true, and as my eyes swept over the plot, I realized there was nothing to keep me from building a house right there, behind Mica’s house, except for… George’s walnut tree.

George is a friendly neighbor who tends his vineyard and takes care of other people’s land while he is at it. I’d seem him many times, shuffle around the walnut tree behind Mica’s house, tending that thing like it was his own child. He pruned it in the spring, watered it in the summer, and every now and then he brought bags of expensive fertilizer from town in his rinky-dink truck, and dispensed it carefully at the base of the tree.

George's wallnut tree in Mica's Paradise

As I was standing there, already estimating where the living room was going to be, George appeared, walked up to the tree, laid his hands on it and looked up into its leafy branches. There was no way that he was going to let me chop down that tree to build a house, I figured. But I figured wrong.

    “Mica tells me you’re going to build a house here,” he said, looking at me, strangely vacantly.
    “Well, I won’t be able to, George. That tree already lives here.”
    “That tree,” said George, shaking his head, “hasn’t produced a single walnut in the whole decade and a half that I’ve been pampering it. It’s wasting dirt, and I told Mica last week that she should have it chopped down. I’ve already sharpened the axe back in the shed. That tree is a goner. We’ll use its wood to fire the stove. It’ll burn all winter.”

    “I see,” I said, averting my eyes back to the land, estimating where the living room was going to be. The kitchen would be at the back of the house. The master bedroom would be above the living room, and above the kitchen would be a guest room. I’m sure there are lots of people in town who, like I, need a few days at Mica’s Paradise, to worship the Lord in the peace and quiet of nature.

And of course I’d build an incredible office for myself, somewhere on the second floor. I’ll have all my books there, and an Internet connection. And during the day I’ll be up there, studying Scriptures and writing articles to post on the main website of Abarim Publications. And in the evening we’ll host neighborhood Bible studies on the porch, looking out over the river.

I’m counting my blessings because there are a lot of them to count. But I can’t also wait to start shedding some serious walnuts. George’s axe, after all, is laying back in the shed, sharp as a chisel.

George's walnut tree; soon to make way for a modest family house and a warm fire

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be nice.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...