Something wonderful happened to me this morning. My cat got stuck in a tree.
I spent an hour and a half trying to get her down. Now, the thing you need to know is that this cat is the worst. She’s annoying and disobedient. One time she opened up a pizza box and stole the last piece of pepperoni pizza. Like….I thought that was something dogs do? Anyway, her being stuck isn’t the wonderful thing that happened to me today, but it got me to where I needed to be. Hang with me, it’ll make sense in the end.
So, as you know I stood outside this morning for an hour and a half. But I didn’t mention that it’s 28 degrees and snowing, and I actually climbed a ladder and hoisted up this 24 foot pole to try and gently nudge her towards the tree trunk where she would at least be warmer and maybe feel safer, thus being more likely to venture down and eat the tuna I set out for her. It was no use though. Even with the ladder and roof rake pole, she still was up too high.
But as I was standing at the base of the tree contemplating if I was capable of climbing it (I’m not), I noticed something – the tree is an Ash. I have lived in this house since 2015. SIX YEARS, and I never thought about the type of trees lining our property. The significance of the timing of this realization is not lost on me.
On Sunday our pastor preached on the importance of names in Scripture. It got me thinking. I have always known my name means “a meadow of Ash trees” but I always thought it was pretty lame. Last night though, I started looking more into it. An Ash tree is known for its strength and ability to weather all kinds of conditions. It’s roots are deep and it is always growing. It is regarded as an evergreen. My middle name is Amber, which is the fossilized resin of sap from an evergreen. I’ve always thought this was a lame meaning too. For starters, amber is an ugly color, am I right?? It’s this orange-brown color and often contains bugs. It’s the whole reason Jurassic Park was such a disaster. While I was searching I learned that many trees create the resin, but usually the resin disintegrates from extreme temperatures, exposure to sunlight, rain, or bacteria/fungi. For resin to survive and become amber, it has to be very resistant to these things. Amber has long been thought of as a source for healing, and is often used for jewelry. I guess somewhere along the lines of motherhood I remember seeing those amber teething necklaces for babies. I looked for one on Amazon once but got overwhelmed by whether or not it would be authentic amber. Finally, Boulais. Boulais has a couple of meanings and I don’t know which is the right one. It can mean bullet, but it can also be traced back to a word meaning “someone who lives near a grove of Birch trees.” Another tree. Birch trees are beautiful, at least. And their symbolism? “A tree whose bark is used to write upon.” (Also, my maiden name means someone with white hair….bahahahaha…VERY fitting!)
It turns out that my name meaning is more beautiful than I have thought it to be. I WANT to be a person of strength who is always growing. I want to be a person who ushers others into healing. I love to write. And my hair is indeed white at my ripe old age of 35.
How is it that I never noticed the Ash trees in my yard? It seems so obvious now when I look at the bark patterns and remember the leaves from warmer days. Now I have a constant reminder right outside my window that God has created me to be a woman of strength and growth, rooted firmly in Him.
***UPDATE: Our kitty is out of the tree, safe, fed, watered and warm.
What about you? Please share in the comments – what does your name reveal about you?