• Dorothy Hayes

I Am The Baobab Tree

The African Baobab tree also known as Adansonia digitate (WHOA! Big word alert!) is the oldest living flowering plant on earth and is found in the continent’s tropical regions. The tree is a magnificent specimen of nature. Individual trees can contain up to 500 cubic meter of wood and the oldest baobabs are 2,000 to 3,000 years old and there are some that have been estimated to be 6,000 years old! Their wide trunks often have hollow cavities and can shelter people and animals. The leaves of the baobab can be used as a leaf vegetable in a salad or cooked like spinach. The fruit is a super food with fourteen essential vitamins and minerals and has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit in the world, giving it a wonderful range of health benefits. The baobab tree’s wide hollow trunk is a welcoming protective place for all living creatures, and at the same time nourishing them, and has withstood time. It's as if God planted himself here. Hello neighbor! Amazing!

This tree reminds me of the Good Samaritan in the book of Luke. The Samaritan came across a man that had been robbed, beaten and left in what may have seemed like a low, desolate, and unfruitful place. Many passed him on the road and offered no help. The baobab tree tell again of a few principles found in this book about the Good Samaritan; (1) he looked past their differences and did not judge in a time that was unusual for a Jew and a Samaritan to treat one another with love; (2) he arrange for the wounded man to have shelter and food to heal his body; (3) he meet him at his greatest need; and (4) the spirit of Jesus has been with us over 2,000 years and counting. Imagine all of the amazing opportunities throughout time to be like the Good Samaritan.

Baobab I think, also means to love one another and acting to meet that person’s need. Baobab means to nourish and return to good health. Baobab says you are resilient and your inner core is strong enough, vast and abundant to look past differences. Our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need. Wherever you live, needy people are close by. What is your giving like? The Baobab tree stopped by to give of itself. It was planted upside down so that its branches which looks like open hands could give and receive. Since then, it has been working in silence, paying off its ancient transgression by being the most useful and helpful tree around. Life is happening moment by moment. In these unusual times, I want to be like the baobab tree, unusual and helpful.



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