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Tree Planters 

Big oaks and cottonwoods dominate Olander’s tree population, no doubt owing their existence to the forgetfulness of squirrels and the snows of cottonwood seeds that inundate the Midwest every June. Park walkers know about other species too, like Douglas Firs, Honey Locusts, Sycamores, Sassafras, Black Walnuts and a variety of maples and evergreens. These weren’t all random plantings. Tree planters, themselves a rare species, envision those legendary poems of God where most only see empty space. They measure time in decades and centuries, not months and years. The hurried pace that pushes of the rest of us has no effect on them, and they make time their friend. I envy them. I love trees too, but I lack the interminable patience of the people who plant them. Today, when I see a tree by the trail or across the lake, I see heart…a life…a planter’s statement of faith in their vision. God, grant me the faith to plant a vision today.

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