From Our Priest Associate

It’s Not Easy Being Me, a City Tree

Most days, if I’m honest, there’s just too much to pray for, too many things and people who need care, too much mail—asking, asking, asking. But several Sundays ago I saw this one small thing that made me say: Hey, why not?

It was perspective piece in the Boston Globe’s Sunday Magazine, November 12, 2017, by Amy Sutherland of Charlestown: “I Speak for the Trees: Water Me (and Keep Your Dog Away From My Trunk)”

Trees speak to me of God’ creativity and beauty. Some people admire trees in leafy dress, but I am drawn to naked winter trees. In their nakedness, I can see their real shape—elegant and true down to the tiniest twigs —all by divine design.

Amy Sutherland has lived in Charlestown for thirteen years. She is a prize-wining author in love with saving lives—of animals, and now of city trees, especially young struggling ones who thirst. Her research indicates that Charlestown trees are thirsty. Like all living things, they need care and love to survive. Is that our business?  Oh no, it’s too much.

I, like Sutherland assumed that the city took care of its trees. They do, and still, they need all the help they can get. Being a tree on a city street is like living in a foreign environment. We take loving care of trees in our own garden.

What if St. John’s adopted a tree or two outside its own garden?  What if we worked with the city and other local organizations to extend ourselves beyond ourselves and our needs, as important as these are?  It’s not as overwhelming as it may seem at first. All you need is a hose, a water bucket, a bag of mulch, a watchful eye, and others who love our city trees too.

The itchy question always is who will do this? The answer is: whoever is inspired. Read Sutherland’s piece, think, wonder, and pray. I will too.

The Rev. Lyn G. Brakeman, Priest Associate