In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE
I have decided to continue with Julie Goucher’s “The Book of Me” project, “In Deep with the Book of Me.”
Prompt #1 for January 2015: Imagine you are planting trees that represent your family history.
- What trees would you plant?
- What part of your family are represented by a specific tree.
- Why is that the case? – Location, image, name?
It has taken me 18 days to decide what tree to choose, partly because what I think of in regards to my family is not so much a tree, but a bush, called the Rose of Sharon. I considered the mighty Oak (its strength,) a Weeping Willow (family tragedies) and the Sugar Maple (its nourishment, strength and vibrant hues.) None of them fully captured my family as I see them. Yes, I could have chosen different trees for each family. It felt like a separation of us not one tree that flourishes and grows with each generation.
I continued to return to the “Rose of Sharon.” Family tradition is that my parents planted a Rose of Sharon bush when they first were married. They brought a piece of that bush to each home that they lived in. If not possible they would plant a new one. That new one would come from one of our family member’s yard. The siblings of both my parents also have Rose of Sharon bushes in their yard. It was the foundation of faith to them. The following two Bible verses were taught to me as a child. Lily of the Valley was my mother’s favorite flower. A well-grounded choice in our family history of gardening included the Rose of Sharon. My mother brought a piece of her Rose of Sharon as a gift when I purchased my first home.
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. The thorns from the Rose of Sharon protect the delicate lily of the valley. In return the lily of the valley brings love and comfort in early summer while the rose of Sharon strengthens and prepares for blooms in late summer and fall. Just like in our family Protection and love throughout our life’s cycle.
it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.
It is described as, an erect, deciduous shrub that produces colorful, cup-shaped flowers in summer and fall when few other shrubs are in bloom. Flower colors include blue, pink, red, lavender, purple, and white. A delicate pink with varying hues are what I remember at my parents’ home, white at my Aunt Carrie’s and blue at my Aunt Bea’s. The different colors are like our family with different personalities and opinions. The fact that they bloom when few other flowers can tolerate the changing season shows how our can adjust to life changes. We make ourselves known while other remain silent in times of need. That doesn’t mean we are vocal or in your face, most time it is through gentle hugs, sharing of what merger supplies we have or an ear that listens and not judgmental. We stand strong against our adversaries. Choose our battles and continue to fight another day.
Like the Rose of Sharon we are easy care/low maintenance. Well most of us anyway. One needs to take time to select a place with full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil. In my mother’s word; “Remember to follow the Lord and her will nourish and guide you.”
Plant in spring or fall: Remember to plant the seed of the Lord early and plant again to strengthen our line in the fall of life.
Space plants 6 to 10 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the plant: Remember to give each person room to grow. Allow them to find themselves, but with a guiding hand until maturity.
Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide: Remember to provide a sound base of family and surrounding them with others who can also provide love and support. It takes a village to raise a family.
If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost: You need to fertilize and adjust nutrients for each person. We learn in our own way. Reassure that you are there when needed. Some may need the Lord’s guidance but will fight it. Don’t preach, show by example, in this way you nourish and strengthen the soil and soul.
Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill it half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly: Just be there with comfort, nourishment and support, they will grow.
Continue spreading your comfort, nourishment and support to each new family member, prune back a little (don’t be an airplane and hover over them.) Allow them time to make mistakes on their own. It is how we learn to become independent and start our own branch. We will learn to remove those dead flowers or branches (throw away what doesn’t work and try something new that will.)
With the nourishment to our body, minds and our soul; comfort and support as needed; and the strength of our love will blossom and grow for years to come, just as we have for years before us. From those who left their native land to traverse the unknown angry seas to a new land of plenty in the Lord’s garden to present day America we have survived, adjusted, strengthened our family our country and grown to maturity that is far beyond what we thought was possible.
When you see the Rose of Sharon bush growing wild at the beach or neatly trimmed in someone’s garden you will remember it is constantly adapting, changing, and growing stronger each day. It will survive. Some believe it is with God’s love and care, others that Mother Nature watches over her children. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are-care, support and love are there each day from someone or some source to allow the Rose of Sharon to grow and endure.