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National Treasures of the Season

(ROCKWALL, TX — April 19, 2018) I’m in the city of National Treasures.  The seasonal treasure these days are the cherry trees in full bloom.  They are all over the area, not just around the Tidal Basin.   As I look out the kitchen window right now on this cold & rainy Spring morning, there stands a neighborhood treasure that looks just like the picture above.  I think each one I pass is more beautiful than the one before.  How can you get used to seeing these trees, experiencing the “pink snow” when the wind blows?

Their trunks are not particularly beautiful or smooth, but instead are rather gnarly, twisted, loaded with bumps and protrusions (that’s nurse lingo for things that stick out).  I’m confident each tree has a story to tell.  Thousands of visitors pass them each year either by foot or sailing by on the Potomac excursions.  You can hear the oos & aahs in so many different languages.  Regardless of their nationality, folks are overwhelmed by this beauty.

But once the blooms have fallen off the trees return to their gnarled, brown selves, with no one in particular seeing anything unusual about them.  Can you imagine where I’m going with this?

We have National Treasures all around us.  Those that have gone before us, fought for our freedoms, voted for our rights, commended us through our rebellious years, and nurtured us into functioning adults are our National Treasures.

Like those two cherry trees that are 103 years old, they have many stories that have made their body parts gnarled, scarred, vulnerable to disease, dried & rough.  They bloom behind clouded eyes & silent lips.  Oh, I wish we could retrieve their tales, write them down, celebrate and grieve with them, giving honor where it is due, forgiveness if necessary, because like us, they sometimes did it wrong.

But regardless of the weather, lightening strikes, insects, vandals, or drought, these Tidal Basin trees flourish with care given to them 365 days/year by the National Park Service.

Remember they are National Treasures.

So, you know one?  Do they need a visit from you?  Could they need their nails clipped or their hands lotioned?  Is it hard for you to visit?  Do you have difficulty finding what to say that might be understood or of significance?

Really, nothing needs to be said.  You just need to be present.  That’s the only requirement…just being there.  Volumes will be spoken in silence, fences mended, wounds healed.  National Treasures are not for always.  They need to be honored and cared for now.  The weather will eventually get them.  A storm will blow through.  There will be enough hail damage that systems can’t be restored to health.

That’s why we treasure them.

“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”  Hebrews 13:7

By Paula Lively. Paula is a Volunteer Chaplain at Broadmoor Medical Lodge in Rockwall. She is a VERY retired RN who loves serving the residents at Broadmoor. She and her husband, Fred, have lived in Rockwall for 15 years.

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