Monday, December 10, 2012

Putting Down New Roots

A fitting expression for people moving and settling into a new location is “putting down roots.”  Since our move to Wooster in October, this expression has a special meaning to Abby and I.  Let me explain how we have literally “put down roots” of a special tree that was given to us as a parting gift when I retired from Cedarville University last year.

Near the end of Spring Semester, 2011, when we were planning to sell our home during the summer and move to Wooster, OH, the campus environmental stewardship organization, Pro Terra Forma, gave us a little potted Pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba).  What a fitting gift from beloved students who were conscious of the value of trees which serve both mankind and creation as air purifiers, air conditioners, sound blockers, sound-makers (wind in the branches and musical instruments), providers of habitat, housing, and food; and are a source of aesthetic beauty in the landscape.

Because we had hoped to move within a couple of months, we nestled the potted Pawpaw in a pile of old potting soil in a partially shaded environment preferred by this understory plant species.   Little did we know that this “temporary” location would become home to the Pawpaw for the whole summer, fall, and winter as God seemed to be answering our patient prayers with a message of “slow down and wait for My timing.”

As the chill of Autumn days came on in 2011, we felt the chilling of the housing market and were resigned to the fact that we would be living in Cedarville Township for the winter.  Little Pawpaw dropped her leaves and I added some extra mulch to protect it for the cold of winter.

With the warming of Spring, the prospects for the sale of our home warmed, and by July, we were thankful to have contracts for the sale of our home as well as a contract to purchase a home in Wooster.  When moving days came in early October, we did not forget our tree friend who had grown a few new limbs.  We enjoyed a “moving ceremony” assisted by Tim Clark, the new owner of our home.  Together, we potted up Pawpaw for its ride to Wooster.

After a tending to a long list of “moving responsibilities” (Maybe you can relate?), we transplanted Pawpaw from the plant pot to the Wooster soil of our back yard at 1041 Curtwood Drive.  We again remembered with thanksgiving the students who gave us the gift.  We also reflected on our loving God Whose timing was perfect to allow us more time to fully adjust to the idea of leaving our Cedarville spiritual family and friends.

We hope that Pawpaw’s roots will grow and prosper so the tree can add its many “tree benefits” to our landscape on in the years to come while we nurture it, and then beyond.  Likewise, Abby and I hope that we will be good stewards of God’s provisions to us now that we are here so that we can enhance the Wooster community and those with whom He brings us into contact.

Thanks to so many of you for your friendship and prayers.  If you are in the area, please let us know so you can stop in and see where we are “putting down roots” for this new chapter of our lives.


tammy said...

It looks like the tree was no worse for the wear having stayed in the pot. I have one older pawpaw--25 feet tall, or so, and a younger one that I started from seed in order to get pollination. It put out a few flowers last spring, but everything died after the late freeze. No fruit yet. Maybe this summer.

John Silvius said...

Thanks Tammy, and for your reminder that pawpaw is dioecious. My experience has been to find them in coves and other protected understory habitats which may protect them from frost damage. As you say, maybe next year.