Rooted. Tree roots sinking deep into the soil, bringing nourishment and refreshment to trees. Tree roots providing strength and stability to a tree. But what about these tree roots? None of them are deep into the soil, and yet, the trees are huge! Roots may vary in size and shape, but they still provide for the life of a tree. I come from a family that has deep roots. Some of my ancestors came from Norway, and homesteaded in Oregon before statehood. Other family members have been traced back to Holland, coming to the States in the 1600’s. I have always felt firmly rooted.
Some trees stay in one place, while others, like the Ents in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, walk around. I think that I am more like the Ents, as I have lived in Oregon, Chicago, Arizona, Kansas, Nepal, Kazakhstan, and now China. I think that my blood runs with that of the brothers who left Holland to move to America in 1624. They picked up their roots, moved, and replanted them in another place. Their roots were so strong, that we know of their movements and the 400-year history of their family and adventures. I know I also have the life-blood of the woman from Norway, who pulled up her strong roots leaving her family behind, while she sailed around the Cape to join her boyfriend. Upon her arrival in San Francisco they were married, and moved immediately to his farm in southern Oregon, to they could put down their roots together.
I know I have their blood, and their roots. I would like to think that, like the Ents, I can pick up my roots and move when and where I want, without my strength and stability being affected. The soil has been washed away, yet the trees still stand. These trees have such big strong roots, and even though exposed, still bring stability and nourishment to the tree. I want to be more transparent, like these roots. And in that transparency, I still desire strength. And even though transparent, I don’t want to be vulnerable to the elements.
Sometimes roots are inter-twined between two trees. Does the one tree help the other? Are they dependent upon each other? Having been very independent for a long time, lately, the desire in me is very strong to have my roots become entwined with the roots of another. When one falls down, who will pick him up? I want that partner who will pick me up when I fall. I want that strong tree to lean on when I am feeling weak. Even the Barr and Pipal trees of Nepal and India have a symbiotic relationship. They are solitary trees and do not grow in stands with others of the same kind. But they always grow next to each other, one male, and one female. They need each other for survival.
Roots, whether or not you can see them, bring strength, stability and nourishment to us. Sometimes they are mobile, sometimes not, but they are always there. Sometimes we take them for granted. Sometimes we dig deep to find out more about them, and sometimes we may know nothing about them. Sometimes we pick them up and move them, other times they stay in one place adding a unique stability to others around them. Without roots, we would blow around, aimless, without direction and guidance. Whatever their position or visibility, they are always a part of us. When I look at the many unique ways roots are used, I can’t help but remember where my true roots are – they are planted firmly in who I am in the Creator. I am truly rooted and grounded in love, His love. I think my roots were designed to be picked up, moved, and quickly replanted by Him, so that I may be of use in a new location without delay. And my hope is that by being rooted downward, I will bear fruit upward.
Photos are from my recent wanderings through Laos and Cambodia.
For more views on being rooted, go here.