Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Praying for trees

Pray for our beautiful, threatened ash trees and those who work to save them. The ash symbolises the linking of earth and heaven - as indeed all trees may be said to do - because of its massive root system holding it firmly anchored in the earth, and the soaring height to which it can grow. A reminder of our need to be earthed, rooted, grounded, and that "our conversation is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20)

In Norse myth the World Tree, Yggdrasil, was an ash. With its roots deep in the underworld, its crown in the heavens and its branches overshadowing all humankind and all earthly creation it linked the realms of the living, the departed and the life to come. Perhaps something to meditate on as November, the month of remembrance, draws near?

The ash was believed to protect from harm, and the tree's sap was given to newborn infants. That makes me think about our connectedness with all God's creation right from our birth - a covenant of protection that works both ways, which brings us back to our stewardship of creation, and our accountability.

The day here is bright and sunny, and I want to find time to walk among trees and enjoy the colours while they last. On an autumn day which is mild and radiant where I live I pray too for all caught in the devastation of wilder weather brought by the great storm in America. This morning I lit a candle for everyone affected by the storm, at Gratefulness.org, and I invite you to join me.

A poem by Ruth Fainlight:

Trees, our mute companions,
looming through the winter mist
from the side of the road, lit for a moment
in passing by the car's headlamps:
ash and oak, chestnut and yew;
witnesses, huge mild
beings who suffer the consequence
of sharing our planet and cannot move
away from any evil we
subject them to, whose silent
absolution hides the scars of our sins,
who always forgive - yet still assume
the attributes of judges, not victims.

Yes, please pray...
Autumn ash from about.com forestry

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