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Once upon a time, in a far-away land, there lived a man and his wife. They lived together in a city townhouse large enough for a family. In the small, fenced-in backyard covered by a deck grew a cherry tree.

Every April, the tree produced a profusion of beautiful, lacy-pink flowers, proclaiming the tree’s exotic origin. You see, the tree was a Japanese cherry tree.

Gentle breezes soon scattered the cherry blossoms, and the tree leafed out. Then it produced a wealth of one-inch-sized cherries, attracting birds from far and wide. The birds ate the flesh of the cherries and left pits scattered across the deck. Some of the seeds fell into flower pots and took root.

Each year, the husband and wife weeded out the cherry seedlings. Then one year, they let the seedlings grow. Now that their children were grown and gone, the couple had decided to sell the townhouse and retire to the mountains. Since they loved the cherry tree, they wanted to take part of it with them.

That summer, they planted the cherry’s seedlings outside their new home on the mountainside. Through fall and winter, husband and wife looked forward to the trees’ cherry blossoms. But when spring finally arrived, instead of producing pink cherry blossoms, the trees leafed out.

The husband and wife puzzled. Cherry blossoms come before leaves. Maybe the trees wouldn’t bloom this year. The couple continued to watch.

BlackCherryTreeMay2018In May, the full-leafed cherry trees sprouted flowers across long, white spikes. Then small cherries, less than half an inch, appeared and ripened through the summer. By fall, the fruit turned black.

Instead of exotics, the trees were native black cherries.

How could this be? The husband and wife wondered. They hadn’t seen any black cherry trees near their city  townhouse. Had the birds or breezes flown these seedlings in from far and wide?

Was this a sign of divine intervention?

From that May on and every spring to come, the couple gazed upon the leafed-out cherry trees, sporting white spikes of flowers. They savored the mystery. Perhaps God’s little joke, they thought, or maybe there was a moral to this tale.

We will grow where we’re meant to be planted.

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