When we bought this house almost 8 years ago
The backyard had been the domain of one very large labrador retriever
He wasn’t much of a gardener.
More like a plant eater.
As a result there was very little here.
A few straggly bushes of unknown lineage.
Giant arbavidae hedges on the east edge
and dissecting the backyard.
All of these are now history.
But there was one mature Eastern Redbud.
It’s probably 50 – maybe 60 years old.
It’s tall and stately.
Providing shade near the garden house.
It is sadly nearing the end of it’s natural life.
Each spring for the past 3 or so years fewer and fewer branches leaf out.
Big chunks seem to die each winter.
It litters the ground with branches each time the wind blows.
Now, you need to know that we love Redbud trees.
John has planted 6 since we moved into this house.
Knowing that we will not likely see them reach maturity.
Much like whoever planted the original one.
But every spring when they bloom
John seems to find another spot just perfect for a Redbud.
There’s some history for this love in my family.
I remember my parent giving Redbud saplings
As an official gift since it is the official state tree.
They are native here and grow wild along creek and river beds.
Look as you travel the interstates and backroads over the next few weeks.
They are blooming wildly now.
So… back to my dying backyard Redbud.
Just as the big chunks began to die
We noticed a sucker coming from the base of the tree.
The next spring…a few more.
Now, they are almost as tall as I am
Recently I’ve noticed blossoms along the main branches
Imagine giving birth at 60!
We are coddling this new growth
In hopes that the intersection of death and new life
Will fill the void.
As is often the case this cycle repeats itself in nature
And in life.
Endings mark new beginnings.
And so it will be with our Redbud tree.