Like a Tree

ALT="aspens in four seasons"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

With spring on its way into summer next month, I want to ask: Do you have a favorite tree?

Aspens are mine, beautiful all through the year, regardless of the season.

In winter they stand bare and white against evergreen forests.

In spring they burst with fuzzy catkins like pussy willows.

        Summer finds them quaking full and leafy in the slightest breeze.

        And in autumn they lift bright yellow coins against sapphire skies.

Each aspen tree is unique and different from its fellows, but they are not solitary trees. When purchased from a nursery, rarely are they planted alone, but in clusters. They flourish through an underground, interconnected root system.

One of the largest living single organisms on earth is said to be an aspen grove, or clonal colony, in south-central Utah. 

Talk about networking! Aspens thrive in interconnected communities.

In nearly all of the twenty books I’ve written, aspens appear in one of their seasonal forms. With stories set in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, it’s easy to see how these glorious trees are so often  part of the setting.

Aspens are also a beautiful metaphor for Christian living. Like aspens, individual Christians are distinctly unique from one another, but we are referred to as the “body of Christ” because we are interconnected by God’s Holy Spirit. We support each other, draw upon each other for strength and encouragement, and thrive in each other’s company.

A promise in the first chapter of Psalms tells us that we can be like trees “planted by streams of water,” forever fruitful and never withering. Three of the four conditions for this promise deal with connectivity – who we’re hanging out with.

You’re blessed if you:

  • Walk with someone other than the wicked.
  • Avoid standing with those who keep on sinning.
  • Sit with those who aren’t cynics.
  • Love God’s word and think about it day and night.

Being “like a tree” is the result of these choices – it’s cause and effect.

Today, may your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love (Ephesians 3:17 TLB). 

What is your favorite tree?

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3


Be like a tree. Share on X

ALT="Loving the Horseman book cover"At the high gate, Caleb headed east for Cañon City and heeled Rooster into a lope. The sun pressed toward the peaks behind him, on run from the coming night. It pulled its warmth with it and threw a brassy light on the ridge ahead, where yellow flared through a dark pine blanket.

He had read about the aspen that flecked the mountains—those white-barked trees that bore the gold men didn’t hunt, the kind that showed itself year after year as witness to a providential hand.

He snorted. Providence. That was one thing he didn’t need.

Providence had drawn him away from his father’s wishes and proven livelihood. Providence had left him without a bride, a living, or a place to lay his head. And Providence had led him to the hollow hope of a fresh start.

His gut kicked against the blasphemy, and he kicked Rooster into a dead run. Maybe Providence wasn’t to blame. Maybe he had done all those things to himself. ~Loving the Horseman


Inspirational Western Romance – where the hero is heroic.

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4 thoughts on “Like a Tree

  1. I’m a fan of elm trees. It can feel a bit like I’m cheering for the underdog with Dutch Elm disease and such. Love the idea of clustered connections.

    1. davalynn

      Go for the underdog, Pamela!

  2. Elaine Kiefer

    I am not sure I have a favorite tree, but our home and the neighborhood I live in has an abundance of maple trees. They provide welcome shade in the summer, and are glorious in the fall with their red and orange leaves. I don’t like the whirrlygigs/helicopters that fall and cause “outlaw trees” to grow up in unwanted places.

    1. davalynn

      I love your description, Elaine!


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