Some friends gifted me some branches of a cherry tree that had lived an died in her garden yesterday. When I collected it they told me how much the tree had meant to their daughter and asked if I would make across out of it for her. I was happy to oblige and today I did just that.
As I worked on the wood and recalled what my friends had told me, the words to this story came into my mind and my heart. I was struck by the love that my friends have for their daughter. I was struck also by how the constant presence of the beautiful cherry tree had been a source of consolation for them all. As I cut and filed and shed and sanded I realised that the cherry tree had given a lot to the family while it lived in their garden and had something to teach them and us ll, even after it had died. And so a story…
THE WISE CHERRY TREE
The cherry tree grew as the little girl did. For her, the cherry tree had always been there. As a baby she sat in its shade away from the sun. It taught her the importance of staying cool. Wise tree. It taught her lessons right the way though.
The cherry tree always seemed to blossom just in time for her return from holidays- the leaves flying like flags bidding her welcome! It taught her the importance of home and how it is always good to come home.
Some days she would sit and lean against the strong trunk and the cherry tree held her. The cherry tree taught her the importance of being someone others could lean on and the importance of having people in your own life you can lean on too.
The cherry tree grew as the little girl grew. And she grew up and the cherry tree grew old. It grew very old and taught her another lesson- life here on earth is only for a time and in time we must die. The cherry tree grew old and it died. The girl was sad. The cherry tree had always been there after all and now it would not be. Yes, she was sad. But… The cherry tree had one more lesson to teach her. The cherry tree had a plan.
Through love and compassion, the cherry tree found its way to a small wood workshop, itself in the shadow of a beautiful plum tree, where the cherry tree prepared to teach its final lesson. This life may be only for a time and in time we all must die. But death is not the end. Death is a transition. It is a door through which we must pass to be transformed. We will be transformed into heavenly light and the cherry tree was transformed into a symbol of the love that transforms us.
The cherry tree was always there. And death did not change that. The cherry tree is still there, with the girl. It sits by her window and she still looks at it and she still marvels at its beauty and the lesson it teaches.