the most inspiring fig tree i've ever met
There is a very special tree that now lives in our front yard. One day, long before the hard seasons, I found it for five dollars at the local grocery store. A fig tree, which incidentally was the type of tree I had been obnoxiously hinting at my husband that I wanted. We planted it in a large mineral tub at our rent house, not wanting to leave it behind whenever we eventually moved. It flourished. New leaves were popping up daily, small buds of fruit grew, it transformed into a majestic little tree.
Then, eight months later while I was having a panic attack on a plane, it inexplicably died. It should have been sprouting fruit like crazy but we got home from a family vacation to see a sad little stick in its place. Over the next year, I nourished that tree while I nourished myself. I went to counseling then watered the fig. Went to the doctor then gave the fig plant food. Took long walks then moved the fig into more sunlight. And would you believe it? It bloomed again and ended up producing fruit the following year. My friends said the tree was me, it was a physical representation of the death and life I had been facing. Maybe it was a tangible gift from God to remember to not give up? That beneath the surface of a dead twig lies roots that are still working? Regardless, that fig now is planted in the front yard of our new home and makes me smile every time I see it. It conquered what seemed like death, a move, unbearable heat, and now is thriving. Perhaps you need that reminder? That we keep growing, keep blooming, even when it all seems lost? I know I do. Because currently our business and our finances feel like a stick in some dirt instead of a flourishing fig. The leaves fell off and what is left isn't all that pretty. But if a small tree can make a glorious comeback over three years then can't we do it too? When I'm feeling stuck or barren, I think of it, the most inspiring fig tree I've ever met. Dry soil, sunburn, replanting, frost, thirsty roots, none of that managed to take it down.
So maybe, just maybe, we are more durable than we think. Maybe our soil is richer than we know, maybe there is more heartbeat in our bones than we feel. Maybe the Creator of the universe, the one who is keeping trees alive and splashing the ground with colorful wildflowers, is holding us in his hands, breathing life into us when it feels like we can't breathe. Maybe the process of ebbs and flows applies to all areas of our life. While my business and finances feel like sticks, I've got an old friendship that is bursting out some buds and my family feels like a breathtaking full blooming tree. It comes and goes. And yes, we often know that and feel it when things are good. We worry about when the other shoe will drop and when the leaves will fall. Let's remember it is true in the fruitless as well. New growth is coming. Keep watering, feeding, talking to a plant like a crazy person, and you will see it.
My tree took a few years to fully recover. That's a whole other metaphor/real-life application right there. We can chat about the process of recovery another time. The point is, IT CAME BACK. Resilient and beautiful to everyone who knows it's story. Friends still talk about the fig. When they come over they comment and laugh about my little twig that became an inspiration.
Maybe, we will get to say the same about an area of our life sooner than we think. Grow baby, grow. Blooming is just around the corner.