On a relaxing Sunday afternoon in spring, my husband and I took one of our “see what we see” drives through the countryside. While my husband drove along some quiet back roads, I was pleasantly occupied watching the scenery from my front passenger seat.
As we traveled past a forested area, I noticed that my husband was straining to look out my window rather than keeping his eyes on the road in front of him. Surprised and understandably a little nervous, I asked him what he was trying to see. He softly replied, “Oh, nothing,” and his focus returned to his driving.
After a few minutes, I again looked over at my husband, and I observed a tear running down his cheek. Concerned, I asked him what was wrong. This time he told me, “I was just thinking about Dad and a story he once told me.”
Because my husband’s father had recently passed away, I knew that sharing this story would be difficult for him; however, with a little gentle urging, he began to reflect.
“When I was about eight years old,” my husband began, “Dad and I were out fishing one day, and that’s when he told me that the pine trees know when it is Easter.”
Having no idea what he meant, I pressed him for more information.
“Each year, the pine trees start their new growth around Easter,” he continued. “If you look at the tops of the pine trees two weeks before Easter, you’ll see the first yellow shoots. Then, as the days get closer, the tallest shoots branch off and form pine tree crosses for Easter. By Resurrection Sunday, most of the pine trees have small yellow crosses on all of the tallest pine shoots.”
After he finished telling his story, I turned to look out the window, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a week before Easter, and sure enough, the pine trees were filled with rows of tiny golden crosses outstretched to heaven.
Pine Tree Crosses at Hope Lutheran Church (photos taken April 10, 2018)