Trees were a special part of life growing up. There was a many-branched one behind Shirley’s house which faced on Highland Avenue. It was also behind Ann’s house which was just around the corner on Hudson Drive. It was down the alley from my house and that tree became an off-the-ground playhouse for three little girls, each claiming a branchy area as her own house.
Only one tree has survived from the yard of my childhood family home, the Rosedale. That is a holly son George had transplanted to his yard in Decatur and later planted at our little home in the country. The country house is built on land purchased by my grandfather in the late nineteenth century. I suppose some trees in the wooded area could be called virgin timber.
Now, I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren living in a place where trees survive only when watered. Their gracious shade is ever so much appreciated. Maybe Abraham’s terebinth trees of Mamre were like that. They provided a shaded eating spot for the Lord’s pre-incarnation visit informing Abraham of the birth of the child of promise by Sarah.
God’s Word makes frequent mention of trees. In the beginning we learn that “out of the ground the Lord God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” In the same verse we are told that there were two special trees in the garden God planted. In the middle of the garden was the tree of life. There was also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (See Genesis 2:9.)
In the dawn of human existence those trees were significant. One of them we meet again in the last book of the Bible. There in the New Heaven grows the Tree of Life and whoever eats of it will live eternally, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”
---Revelation 22:14 NKJV