An apple tree doesn’t move – come what may.
It doesn’t migrate to sunnier locations or milder climates when things get tough. Every life-giving connection the tree needs must be found within reach of its roots and leaves – soil nutrients, sunlight, and oxygen. It may also have to endure scarcity and hardship in a challenging location.
And yet, an apple tree commits itself to one special home place for an entire life. In spite of hardships, it can flourish – often for hundreds of years – without moving from where it put down roots.
My modest homestead, nestled on the western edge of the Great Valley of Virginia, can be a hard place to live. The seasons may be too cold or too hot, and sometimes there is too much rain or too little rain. And yet, like an apple tree, I have put down roots and I will not leave.
There are other more exotic places that I could move to – exciting cities, idyllic islands, or locales with spectacular scenery! So why, like a tree, am I staying in this one humble spot for the rest of my life?
It is because I believe that an unswerving commitment to a special home place is the source of lasting connections and a meaningful way of life – come what may.