Golden brown’s okay if you’re a roll in an oven.
It’s not okay if you’re a tulip tree succumbing to your demise after two, and now a third, summer of drought.
In the spring, I trimmed a branch off the tree, long and central, dried and dead. Surrounding branches appeared alive. Strong. Green buds winking at the rise of the morning sun.
Until this week.
Only a few dozen green leaves remain on the ends of branches–not near enough to allow the tree to soak in the needed energy to survive another season.
“Cut it down,” I will tell my husband this evening as the sun looms large and slides mercifully beneath the horizon. “I can’t stand to watch it die.”
In the fall, when the ground cools and the seasons change and rains come again, I’ll plant another tree.
And I’ll hope.
I’ll hope the droughts don’t come again.
I’ll hope to care for the new one better.
I’ll hope for a replacement to provide shade in that parched and withered corner of our yard.
Yes, grass fades and flowers wither, but still my heart breaks with the branches bent and broken by harsh heat.
Perhaps if the roots pressed deeper . . .
“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.”
Jeremiah 17:8 (TMV)