From Vancouver Island to California, this captivating evergreen is easily identified by its silky-smooth, luxuriant, orange-red bark. The no-two-alike, curvaceous madrona sprouts bell-like flowers in spring. In autumn its red berries tantalize birds, bears and Beatles.
Wrapped in papery bark that peels and dangles in long, curling strips, madronas hug the shores of the Strait of Georgia, the San Juans and the untamed coastline of Washington, Oregon and California. This gnarly but elegant specimen appears poised to leap from rocky outcroppings, brazenly daring Pacific storms to wrench it from its roots.
History’s most famous songwriter promised that those who take time to know God are like trees that bear fruit, prosper in life and never wither. Exercising their personal freedom, those who do not choose this path, he says, are like chaff, scattered by the wind.
Is this really such a difficult choice: to be a healthy, fruitful tree or one whose roots are perilously not anchored to its Creator?