Friday, November 2, 2012

A Girdling Root

My Five Minute Friday on: Roots

There is a tall oak tree that stands next to our driveway in front of our house. It litters its acorns and twirly seeds every year to the annoyance of our next door neighbor. When a strong wind blows, or a hurricane, its branches shed all over our front yard.

Looking at our towering oak tree there would be no reason to suspect it was anything more then a healthy tree. And it primarily is.

But at its base, down in the dirt where the roots call home, it is strangling itself.

Called a girdling root (I am the daughter of a "tree man" who worked as an Arborist/Horticulturalist his whole life), this phenomenon often kills young trees before they reach maturity. Some, like the one that stands proud in our yard, has found a way to survive.

Roots are opportunistic. They need oxygen and water to live and as seedlings begin a course in search of these conditions. If the soil surrounding them does not provide these nutrients, the roots turn and begin to circle the tree itself -- strangling it.

Like the oak, we have roots. In healthy soil they dig down deep, keeping us grounded. Our roots tell us where we came from and encourage us to grow and mature. When the winds blow, we remain securly planted. Roots were intended to reach far and wide, being fed by a source outside of themselves. But it's not always this way...

In self-protection we may have pulled those roots in close, surrounded ourselves with them so we could survive. Feeling like a protective hug around you, but in reality, like the girdling root, strangling the life out of you.

Our tree figured out young how to survive the gnarly twist of roots encircled around its base. I thank God that in our wounded, feeble attempts to "save" ourselves, He finds a way to love, nurture, and feed us -- girdling root or not.

Linking with Lisa-Jo at Five Minute Friday.


6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

"In self-protection we may have pulled those roots in close, surrounded ourselves with them so we could survive. Feeling like a protective hug around you, but in reality, like the girdling root, strangling the life out of you."
I find these words to be so meaningful. Thank you for writing them.

Denise said...

Glad you shared.

Melanie said...

Can i just say I love reading this about roots!! I found myself thinking a lot about them today, after this prompt. And wondering why some come above ground, etc.
And thinking of my own rootedness in Christ.
Thank you for sharing!

Christy said...

Thank you all for visiting! So much meaning from the word root. I'm glad to be rooted in Christ, too, Melanie!

Heather said...

You have described how I have felt so many times- I like to call it slight anxiety moments; it's kind of like a feeling that takes your breath away- "Feeling protected" by holding myself back- but also "Strangling the life out of me". Thank God He does what He does for us!
Thank you so much for publishing this! It spoke magnitudes to me :)

Christy said...

Heather, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'm glad you came and found some encouragement from this post.

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