By Simon Ambit
On a recent work-based trip to St. George, a colleague and I took the opportunity after work to hike one of the many trails that stroll alongside the Virgin River. It was a welcome break to saunter along, enjoying the views and slowness of the late afternoon. As we came to one particular spot along the path there was a fenced area full of trees. Among the trees, stood a sign which bore the following inscription:
THE HEALING GROVE: “Many years before this trail existed along the river, this was a wild place. Old Tamarack forests, river animals and an ever-changing river dominated the landscape. After the Quail Creek Dam break, four feet of sand was deposited along the riverbank. With the acquisition of two yellow labs and their need for a dog run, the wild area was tamed somewhat. Needing shade, the dog run became the natural depository for discarded, sickly and damaged trees our landscaping company came across. Given a second chance in this unlikely hospital and to our surprise, the trees flourished. Every tree here today was once discarded as worthless. Today they provide considerable shade and have become a handsome grove of once misfits, now harmoniously living together.
The Healing Grove is a lot like life. Some people are injured, sickly, or damaged. Many are discarded to drift along unseen and left to die. However, if given fertile soil and a loving caretaker, they too will flourish. May you reach out to them; donate to causes that are designed to provide a safe place, a warm meal and a message of hope. Then, like the trees of the Healing Grove, they will enrich us, provide shade from the heat of life and live together in harmony.”
I stood in brief awe of this place, for not only the shade, but the tranquility and perspective that it offered. I wish to thank the good people who created the Healing Grove and for sharing their story. Truly, this is a great moral principle, as is pointed out in scripture: “For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment and for gold and for silver and for all the riches which we have of every kind?”
I am grateful for the healing groves of our lives and those who reach out to help us, nourish us and strengthen our weakened knees. I am grateful for the grand caretaker who reaches down to strengthen our roots and heal our wounds, that we may be ultimately healed and grow to shelter, shade and benefit others.
Life is good. May we all provide small healing groves along the way and live together in harmony.