For the past two days I’ve been digging up roots. It’s amazing how enmeshed roots are with one another; main roots, thick and sturdy, are supported by smaller then smaller then smaller roots. Strength comes from their connectedness; traveling outwards from the plant, shrub, or tree, roots find other roots from other plants, shrubs, or trees and interconnect with them. In fact, the root system appears to me to take up much more space underground than the plant above ground. Not all plants are so well held in place, some roots are simply one taproot with tiny little roots about that one root; a carrot comes to mind.
For two days now, I’ve been laboring to remove the roots of one akebia vine. In checking the spelling of the word akebia, I found the word invasive within the definition. Did not know this vital information when I planted this vine, but I sure know the truth of that definition now. In the effort to dig up the akebia roots, I had to dig up three maiden hair grass shrubs whose roots were entangled with the akebia.
No, I didn’t set out to dig up anything, but our white arbor, which supported the akebia vine had seen its better days and was replaced by a much-needed handrail. From the vine, to the maiden hair grass, and now to the possible replanting of our ancient gardenia my outside chores seem to be multiplying. This gardenia must be at least sixty years old. About five years ago we had to cut it down to about four feet high as it was diseased. The gardenia has now regained its original height of over fifteen feet.
Our new bedroom addition that is in progress cries out for the gardenia to be moved. We are calling in an arborist next week to take a look at our much valued gardenia and make recommendations.
Our particular shrub produces the largest most fragrant gardenias I have ever seen. We love placing them in shallow bowls of water and placing them in different rooms about the house. What a glorious month … June … the month of the blooming season for gardenias.
Families have roots, some more interconnected than others, some supported by other families, some intertwined with other families, some stand alone through one main family support system. No system is better than another; as no two families are better than another; for all have roots some going deep down, others not, some supportive, others not. All created by You, Lord; whether You are credited or not, all families are created through and by Your Love.
My parents always described themselves as independent; the long taproot providing its own nourishment and support alone. Living in towns away from both sets of grandparents, Mother and Daddy had little help with their three girls. They struggled all alone with an eighteen month old when the twins were born. The only extended family was my mother’s twin sister and her brood of two boys and one girl. We saw each other on holidays and in our baby years were together on beach vacations. As the years passed we saw less and less of our cousins.
I married into a very interconnected family; my husband was the baby of five; gatherings can nowadays have upwards of forty folks. Children had children who had children and now they are having children. Blessedly the siblings have held the family together over the years. Time will tell whether the future generations will stick together or splinter off.
I’ve been fortunate to be the spouse of one of the original children. Though a bit younger, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from their family dynamics. I am thankful for what I’ve experienced with and through their example; though born into an independent taproot family, I have enjoyed learning a different family root system.
Job 8:8-19 The Message
Put the question to our ancestors,
study what they learned from their ancestors.
For we’re newcomers at this, with a lot to learn,
and not too long to learn it.
So why not let the ancients teach you, tell you what’s what,
instruct you in what they knew from experience?
Can mighty pine trees grow tall without soil?
Can luscious tomatoes flourish without water?
Blossoming flowers look great before they’re cut or picked,
but without soil or water they wither more quickly than grass.
That’s what happens to all who forget God—
all their hopes come to nothing.
They hang their life from one thin thread,
they hitch their fate to a spider web.
One jiggle and the thread breaks,
one jab and the web collapses.
Or they’re like weeds springing up in the sunshine,
invading the garden,
Spreading everywhere, overtaking the flowers,
getting a foothold even in the rocks.
But when the gardener rips them out by the roots,
the garden doesn’t miss them one bit.
The sooner the godless are gone, the better;
then good plants can grow in their place.
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