Shortly after Mabel died, my workplace gifted me a beautiful 50 year old bonsai tree. “It’s Mabel’s tree,” they said. I was both wowed byt the gift and made a little nervous. It was beautiful in its small twisting branches, tortured roots and delicate green leaves. But it was also a living thing. Something that could die. Chris and I don’t have the best track record for caring for houseplants and now we were entrusted with keeping a fifty year old tree alive, in Mabel’s name no less. We couldn’t keep a baby alive, how were we to keep a tree alive? It felt like a huge responsibility. Watering was more than just bringing a watering can- the tree needed a bath every week. Little by little we cared for the tree, keeping it alive until the months warmed and we were able to keep it outside. Direct sun, fresh rain decreased our burden and the tree continued to live. When the weather got very hot those delicate green leaves started to turn brown. Maybe it was too hot, maybe it was neglect on our part, but the tree didn’t look so good. Chris reassured me that this type of bonsai was seasonal, but I was doubtful. The leaves fell off slowly as we brought the tree inside for the fall months. As I stared at the barren branches while the weather grew colder, Chris still reassured me, that despite appearances the tree was not dead. We continued to bathe the tree in hopes that it would survive the winter.
Come the New Year, Chris looked over at the tree and noted some little buds on the bare branches. Sure enough, the tree still has life.
Should I take this as a sign of better things to come?
Have you seen any signs of hope lately?