The Magic Tree is a crab apple tree with approximately 30,000 lights (300 sets of mini-lights). I use six 20 amp circuits on 3 timers, 8 extension cords with 3 way outlet splitters with additional short cords with splitters up into the tree. It takes 40-50 hours to put up the lights and about half that time to take them down again. If the lights were left up all year they would fade and I wouldn’t be able to change the color scheme each year which is part of the joy of putting them up.
When choosing a color scheme I try to limit the number of colors I use to 4 major colors but I add additional colors for accent. I put 2 or 3 sets of the same color together for greater differentiation of the colors when viewed from a distance. Bright colors like yellow and clear need fewer sets together. I like to intermix in old faded sets of lights with newer ones of the same color to give variation in the shades.
I’ve been lighting this tree for perhaps 8 or 10 years. I don’t recall the exact year I started. This will likely be the last year I light this particular tree because it has been slowly dying over the last few years and has now reached a point where there are noticeably fewer branches than in past years. There are other good candidates in the yard however. Some suggest that it’s the lights that could be killing it but it is exhibiting the same behavior as several other crabapples in the yard that have never had lights on them so I don’t think it is the lights.
Whatever you see in the magic tree is a reflection of what is inside you.
I hope you see beauty for beauty is everywhere present for those with eyes to see it. And beauty, I believe, is the signature of love, which is also everywhere present. Seeing beauty then is seeing the evidence of the presence of love and if you can see it then it is also within you. (“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)
We have all heard that God is best characterized as unconditional love and that we have been created in that image. The birth of Christ into the world represents God taking physical form. Every time we see beauty be it in physical objects or in interpersonal relationships or in the beneficent actions of others, love is born anew in the world, in our hearts and minds. And if God is love….
Go into labor to bring the evidence of love in the world to the forefront. If we each in our own way do this then the world will be a very beautiful and diverse place (for there is little beauty in uniformity). Some are already at work but more workers from all walks of life and religious paths are needed.
I believe America at its core is characterized by love as all nations and people ultimately are. It is only fear that blinds our eyes to seeing it. I look forward to the day when Americans set aside fear in favor of love and start in earnest to beautify our world through wise loving action toward even our enemies. I’ll leave it to you to choose the time and the way in which you participate but just looking for beauty in unusual places is a good start. I hope the Magic Tree is an inspiration.
The Magic Tree is like a chalice overflowing. I hope that while looking at it you experience your cup of hope, peace, love and joy overflowing for just a moment. It expresses how love is constantly overflowing out of everything and we can have the eyes to see it when we set aside our fear or hatred or negative judgments of others or ourselves.
It is important to recognize that even these negative emotions are based in love. When we fear it is generally about losing something we love. When we look closely at why we hate we most likely find it is because someone or something is confounding our desire or attempt to express love. Again when we judge negatively it is ultimately by comparison to something we feel would be a better expression of love.
Knowing that love is behind even the negative emotions it becomes easier to feel positively towards those who harbor these emotions. But beware of those who use hate or fear to persuade you to their view and to support their cause. This is what terrorism is made of (a pretty poor expression of love.) Don’t allow fear and hate to take root in your particular denomination of Christianity or other religion. We don’t need it in our politics either. Guard against it lovingly and if it has taken root, rout it out.
Looking with eyes that see we can see love oozing out of every nook and cranny of our world. When we see it, love becomes easier for us to express ourselves. This I believe is our purpose; to express love in ever more accurate ways until we have made heaven on earth.
“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” and see.
Wishing you well in the ultimate of endeavors, may you find renewed hope, peace, love and joy in all your relations overflowing till all of America is infected and leads the world in justice and peacemaking for all.