The Best Time to Plant a Tree

botanicalprintI’ve been through transitions a few times since I have entered my community and I’ve noticed that while it really takes a whole year to feel settled once again that there is a midpoint when life starts to get easier.  I seem to get over this hump in transition within six to eight months. I recently hit this point and it felt like a stopper had been pulled out of a rain barrel letting the water flow. It’s a great feeling even though I know I’m not totally settled yet. This isn’t just about knowing where things are in the grocery store, or no longer needing GPS to get to work.  So much of my energy is taken up with the day-to-day living as I work towards becoming settled that it seems like there is little energy or time left for anything else.

Now that I’ve gotten to this half way point I feel more creative, energetic, and at ease as I continue to put down some roots. I wish I could say practice makes perfect but there is unfortunately no trick or technique to mastering moving, except perhaps the awareness of the emotional investment that transition requires.  One of the things that has become more challenging with each move is deciding to undertake new projects. For example I began a garden at my new place and wrestled with what I thought I could plant. Eventually decided on an asparagus plant, this was a hard decision for me because you can’t harvest the asparagus until the third year.  I have no plans to move in the near future but you just never know when the spirit will call you to something new.

I am an ambitious gardener so I’m now sitting with the same question.  I would like to plant a fruit tree and I must wonder if I really do want to undertake such a the_best_time_to_plant_a_tree_is_20_years_ago_1024x1024big project and commitment even if I may never get to harvest the fruit.  In my fruit tree research I came across a proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.  The second best time is now.”  This is not only good gardening advice it is also good advice for ministry and relationships.  I can only do my best and give what I can give today, there is no guarantee that I will be here or at ministry tomorrow.  There is no guarantee that my presence will have a lasting impact at my ministry, but I can try my best with all that I am given.

Just in case you were wondering: I have decided to plant a peach tree and perhaps I’ll see fruit in five years.  If I don’t get the chance to enjoy the fruit then I am sure someone else will.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chad Ellis Stephens
    Jul 04, 2016 @ 21:10:07

    Warren Buffet, the philanthropist billionaire, once said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Kudos to you for being so ambitious. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Judy Carey
    Jul 05, 2016 @ 09:10:14

    Mandy, thank you for sharing such a beautiful reflection on your transition journey. I would invite you to hold in your heart that wherever you minister, the gift of your presence and who you are does impact the future. You are doing your best now, that prepares for whoever comes after you. For me, to be my best, love well each day are all I can bring for today. Thanks. Good luck with the peach tree!! 😘

    Reply

  3. Sister Elaine Deasy
    Jul 06, 2016 @ 09:58:18

    Awesome blog! Can’t wait to visit your garden.

    Reply

  4. Patricia Colla
    Jul 06, 2016 @ 13:17:06

    Dear “Black Constance”, You are so real – so you!  I love it – and you! When you have a chance, would you like to write a little blurb about your upcoming “Ride Closer to Free” for Wednesday New?  Even tho the ride  is not til September, folks might want to send a donation ahead.  When the time gets closer we’ll remind folks again. Pat

    From: Nun with a side of pirate To: p.colla@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, July 4, 2016 8:54 PM Subject: [New post] The best time to plant a tree #yiv0252109894 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0252109894 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0252109894 a.yiv0252109894primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0252109894 a.yiv0252109894primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0252109894 a.yiv0252109894primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0252109894 a.yiv0252109894primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0252109894 WordPress.com | blackconstance posted: “I’ve been through transitions a few times since I have entered my community and I’ve noticed that while it really takes a whole year to feel settled once again that there is a midpoint when life starts to get easier.  I seem to get over this hump in trans” | |

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