I love the Redbud tree in my front yard. As I sat looking at it this morning I wondered if I can love everyone as I love that tree. I don’t put conditions on my love for the tree. It doesn’t have to flower for me to love it; I love it equally in the winter when it’s bare and in the spring when it flowers. There are parts of it that don’t flower anymore at all; it got some sort of disease that killed off part of it. I don’t hate those parts that don’t produce leaves; I don’t love it less for its flaws. I did prune it some so the disease wouldn’t spread and to help it grow.
I love that tree and all it provides. It provides shade and some privacy for my porch in the summer. It provides the beauty of its fuchsia flowers in the spring. It provides a reminder of change in the autumn as the leaves transform and fall. And in winter it reminds me of the stillness.
It provides a place for my children to play, building fairy houses in its limbs or hanging their pots of flower soup from its branches. It provides challenges for me every time I cut the grass and have to duck under it along the way. It reminds me of time and the potential for growth. We planted that tree when it was just a sapling and now it is a glorious, full grown tree.
Yet, if the Redbud stopped doing any or all of these things, would I love it less? No. There is nothing that tree can do to stop me from loving it. Looking at it simply makes me feel the love in my heart, the love that I am. What an amazing gift that tree gives to me. It provides me with a reminder of the love that I am, an opportunity to feel the love that I am.
My goal today then, is to love everyone and everything the way I love that tree. When I look at someone or something today I will remember the love that I am. Maybe that’s what love is, something that reminds you of or reawakens in you the love that you are.