MAX Blog

Plant a Tree

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
— Greek Proverb
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Slowly, but surely, we are settling into our new home. The paint is on the walls, the furniture is in place, and one-by-one, the repairs are getting checked off the list. Our "home sweet home" is soon to be complete. 

When you buy a home previously owned by others, it is common to question the fixture choices, the paint color palette, or even the kitchen layout. But, Steve and I were pleasantly surprised by something growing in our back yard. Our new home is surrounded by towering oak trees that provide shade for the entire yard and a jacaranda tree that just beckons for a tire swing to be hung from its beautiful flowering limbs. But, amid all the mature trees that majestically tower over our new home, is a small, skinny plant just beginning to grow. Why would they recently plant this tree? While questioning their motive, we noticed a few berries beginning to form. It is a mulberry tree! 

Oh, the fond memories I have of mulberry trees. Growing up, my father had what seemed like every variety of fruit in our back yard- oranges, grapefruits, loquats, starfruits, and many more. My favorite tree, however, was the mulberry. The berries were so incredibly sweet, I would eat them right off the tree until I was covered in purple. It was the perfect climbing tree. I spent many of days solving all of the world problems in that tree. Our sweet dog, Scooter, was laid to rest under that tree. I loved that tree. I miss that tree.

We don't know why the previous owners planted the new tree. There are no other new plants in the yard, everything has been there for years.  Who would plant a tree that they would never see grow?  They would never taste the sweet joy of the mulberries or watch their kids climb its widespread branches. Whatever their reason for planting the tree, all I can say is thank you. While this tree is not in their future, it is now in ours. I can't wait for Steve to taste his first mulberry, and maybe one day I will have to drag our children out of that tree to clean up for dinner. 

                                      Our first mulberry!

                                      Our first mulberry!

Sometimes, we let an uncertain future keep us from doing things. We think we are too old to start a new career, or so set in our unhealthy ways to try and change our eating habits. We figure we will not live long enough to see the benefits of recycling or global warming efforts, so why bother? But, sometimes we just have to take a chance. We can't let the fear of moving, of changing, of failing, to hold us back from doing great things. The future, whether it is ours or generations to come, depends on what we do today. 

Plant a tree. Maybe you will be blessed to see it grow and bear delicious fruit. Or maybe, you will pass that joy on to someone else. Either result leads to happiness. Take a chance. Plant a tree. 


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