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Happy New Year everyone! Doesn’t seem possible the year is 2022.
In front of my house sits an ancient Camelia bush. I don’t know if ya’ll are like me, but even my plants have a history I treasure. This plant is probably close to 100 years old. My mama’s brother, planted camellia bushes all around his home for his mama! (I live in my grandparents home). The camellias are dying. Last year, I had to cut one down…it looks like the same is going to happen in 2022. Near my side steps is a beautiful white camellia. The two camellias to the left of my house are hanging on. But the big one, the granddaddy of all the trees, is dying of old age.
At what point do you give up, accept death, and cut the tree down?
Every time my youngest son Breck visits, he says, “mama, the tree is dying…cut it.” I just smile.
I call the bush the baldheaded camellia. (Reminds me of my hair!). The branches are weak and wiry. No green is visible when a branch is snapped.
Around Christmas, I made the decision that after the first of the year, I was going to cut the bush down. (It’s kind of like a death.) Its days are numbered.
As I left for Sunday school Sunday morning, I looked back at my house and guess what was blooming? A Camelia on the “dead” bush! Do I watch it die? Do I began a new year? Do I just enjoy the 5 or 6 green leaves?
My mind was made up to cut that tree! But, when I saw those blooms, I thought why would you cut something down because it is not full of blooms or green leaves? I am at that point in my life. Do you give up because the body doesn’t move easily? Do you give up because you just can’t seem to face another day? Do you give up because you can’t remember what you said 2 minutes ago?
To me, there is nothing more beautiful than an older woman or man. Truly, beauty knows no age. At our family Christmas in Pelahatchie, we had sweet little babies, wild toddlers, precious young people, and a 97 year old aunt who was truly the most beautiful person at the celebration.
I know I can’t compare a bush to a life…but sometimes, the bush almost represents life to me. I think of all the things that have taken place around that bush…all the things the bush has heard…all the people who have admired her beauty.
So is it time? I guess if you don’t know…then it isn’t time. Maybe one day soon, I will know…but until then, I’ll look at the beauty of the tree and think of my uncle who loved his mother so much he left her and his home a trail of blooms.
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