Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2)
As “newbies” around town, Rebekah and I are trying to explore our new home a little more each week (enjoy 15 “Neuse River Greenway” slides at the end of the text).
Monday’s expedition took us to the “Neuse River Greenway Trail.” It’s our local (almost finished) 28-mile section of North Carolina’s 1,000 mile long “Mountains-to-Sea Trail” (50% complete), a super-cool initiative that winds its way from Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains, all the way to the Outer Banks.
We took Scout Labradoodle with us, parked up by the “Falls Dam,” and hiked just a couple of leisurely miles. The leaves may be beyond their peak, but there is enough color in the emerging winter landscape to still take my breath away.
Monday was advertised as a warm day, but our “conditioned by Florida” sensibilities rated the sunny 70-degrees as close to perfection. So we walked at a steady saunter, enjoying one another’s company, and thanked God for the opportunity to be there – or anywhere – together.
Later in the day, sifting through refrigerator magnets in a Wake Forest store, I was reminded of my favorite quote from poet Emily Dickinson. There it was, Dwell in Possibility etched into a ceramic badge, bearing silent witness to the lessons of faith Rebekah and I had been discussing as we walked through the landscape of trees alongside the living waters of the river.
BOOKENDS: Trees of Life are the bookends between which the unfolding story of God’s grace and redemption is told; the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2), and the tree of life on either side of the river of the water of life (Revelation 22).
Yesterday, walking alongside the river where on either side stand beautiful trees, I felt a distinct surge of life and possibility, and I know that we are called to dwell in it.