Our shovels thumped into the compacted dirt below us. My husband and I took turns as our tools danced their part. Scoop. Dump. Repeat.
With six trees left to plant, we raced against the fading sun, and more importantly the mosquitos buzzing around our necks. We grabbed the maple sapling and lowered it into the hole. As I scattered dirt around its base, I couldn’t help but think of its future. Someday it’s branches would stretch above our home. Would we be there to see it?
We had no immediate plans of moving, but we always knew more land might lay in the future. From the beginning I’d tucked away the possibility that this place may not always be home. What was meant for protection, now seemed heartbreaking.
I couldn’t help but think of all that would leave with our departure. Our home wouldn’t only bid goodbye to us, but it would say goodbye to the few people who knew its history. The next family who sit on our patio won’t know of the night my husband and I laid each of those pavers until 1 AM.
The little girl who rolls between the blades of grass wouldn’t understand the weeks spent tilling, raking, and watering to make it grow. She won’t feel the satisfaction from the before because she’ll only ever touch the after.
The grass can’t tell its tales of first steps, giggles, and campouts; nor of the faithful dog who tread the ground for years, bringing joy and eventually deep loss.
And the little boy laying under the shade of the brilliant red leaves of the maple tree will have no idea of the conversations, sweat, and mosquitos that surrounded the night we gave its roots a home.
But isn’t this the way of all life? We labor and toil, and then we leave it to someone else. A fact that would be empty if this was the end of the story. But it’s not.
We have another home. A home that will last forever. A home where the good, hard, and beautiful work for our king will never be lost. A home where we will see and touch the one who poured out his life for us, so we could do the same for him and his people.
That home is our real home. The one we hope for. The one we wait for.
And in the meantime, we just keep on planting trees.
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