There is a beautiful magnolia tree in my front yard. I look at it every morning out my front window. I watch it change its dress each season from white blossoms to green leaves to falling leaves to snow lying on its branches. In April, I noticed the small buds on the ends of the branches. But now, in May, it has stopped. It has died suddenly, left with barren branches that snap like tinder. As I spent hours in my garden this week, I kept returning to my magnolia…wondering why it had died, what I could do for it, what my garden will look like without it. I feel sad that it will be gone. As I sat and contemplated it, I remembered people and events in my life that are gone. I miss them, too, but others have come into my life because of the vacancy they left: new friends, new experiences, and new joys. I want to hold on to the tree, but if I let it go there will be room for a new tree. Ultimately, I remember I am not in charge of the tree. I am only a gardener; I am not in charge of its destiny. My ego quiets down and humility brings me back to my place as a beloved child of God. My anxiety about the tree is gone. I remember the words of Julian of Norwich, the English mystic. Her feast day is on May 13. “…All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”.
Rev Mary Ramerman, Spiritus Christi Parish, Rochester
(Reflections are provided each week by a member of the congregation.)