Owning land can be an exciting and scary adventure. It takes a lot of faith to take on land management either for the first time or the hundredth time. It takes faith that when you start the process everything will line up in your favor: the finances and markets, the weather, tree growth, insects and natural disasters, and the list can go on.
With this weekend being Easter weekend, I don't think this message can be shared at a better time. Through all the challenges and obstacles life can throw at you... even when you do everything right and to the best of your ability... that doesn't necessarily mean everything will go your way. The winter has just ended, spring blossoms are in the air (although in the south spring often means pollen which means allergies), and you're preparing for the rest of the year. So how can we know that managing our land is the best route for us to take?
Yes we should take all the preparations we can to do what is best for the land, and yes we should have an objective for our land to help guide us on the steps to take to accomplish our wants. But that can be a difficult journey, even when things go right. For me, winter is often a dreary season - the days are shorter, it tends to be overcast and rain more often, and although the bugs don't bite I just seem to get drained faster during winter. Then it starts to warm up and spring is here... which for me means my allergies are in full swing and now that it's warm enough to enjoy the sunshine, all the bugs are attacking any exposed skin. Spring is also the start for me to "prepare for the year" - whether that's helping other's start their site prep process or educating some on selling their timber - it's the time of year when meetings are in full swing to learn and enjoy fellowship. Maybe you're starting your spring cleaning and organization process and realizing how much you actually have to do this year and it is becoming a little overwhelming
...And sometimes I'll get asked "is it worth it..." to be invested with your land....
Yes. Of course!
But despite all the scientific evidence, or economic return forecasts, it will still take that leap of faith.
And your pine trees will annually provide you that little sign of good faith, if you only remember to look up.
During the spring, pine trees put on new growth called "candles" - the light greenish-yellow shoot you see springing upwards from the ends of branches of tops of trees. First the shoot extends just upwards, and then (in many pine species) the shoots put on horizontal shoots. Your trees are now putting on new growth. Someone much smarter than myself could probably go into all the rationalizing reasons on why these candles/shoots are fashioned in this way...
I however prefer to think of them in a non-scientific way. I like to think that it is God's little sign to us to keep looking up, just like those trees, and to continue the good faith. He's looking out for "our" plans- even if they don't always play out the way we expect them to.
So this spring season, remember to look up.