The Magic Tree 2005
The Magic Tree is a crab apple tree and has approximately 470 sets of 100 lights for a total of 47,000 individual lights.
Each set is 40 watts for a total of 18,800 watts. (Embarrassing for someone who goes around the house turning out lights that aren’t needed in order to save energy.)
The lights are plugged into 12 extension cords that in turn are plugged into 16 available outlets powered through eight 20-amp circuits on 4 timers.
The Magic Tree is lit from 4:30 to 10:30 each evening later on Christmas and New Years.
It took 70 – 80 hours to install the lights and will take an additional 35 – 40 hours to take them down and put them away.
A box (attached to mailbox post) is provided for those who wish to contribute toward offsetting the cost of lighting the Magic Tree.
It is pure joy to light it. I hope you find joy as you look into it. And take joy with you as you drive away remembering it. This is the first year I have lit this tree. In the past it was always the tree by the front door but it is now almost completely dead and has lost many of its branches. I don’t think it is the lighting that killed it because I’ve lost other trees of the same variety that I had never put lights on.
Each tree is different. If all trees were exactly the same there would be little beauty in them for beauty arises out of contrast and differentiation. Even each tree is in constant flux and change renewing itself every year a little larger, a little stronger until it grows old and dies. Indeed even in death the naked limbs of an old crag of a tree can be a beautiful sight particularly when the sun’s light falling on it highlights it at sunrise or sunset.
I light this tree to highlight its beauty, its uniqueness. I light it differently each year to keep the beauty of the lighting fresh and interesting. It is one small way I can contribute to the eternal yet ever changing expression that is that of the Creator, that One that is perhaps best characterized by Absolute Perfect Unconditional Love. It is the power of this One that motivates every one of us. It is how we choose to express the energy that this motivation produces that is up to us. But there is only one ultimate source. To say otherwise is to deny the absoluteness of the One.
I do rarely, if ever, express well the true nature of this Great Being. But I suspect it is our purpose to do the best we can and grow in our ability to give expression of that Absolute Perfect Unconditional Love that runs in our veins just as surely as It runs through all the cosmos. Just as evident and predictable as the sun’s light shining without condition and with perfect and absolute scientific lawfulness as we spin through space is the Love we have often called God.
How shall we little ones reflect such great love? The World Teacher says “Share and save the world”. The most beautiful and loving expressions are those that are acts of sharing. Such acts give off light that warms the soul with joy. If we did a scientific study I’m sure we would verify that sharing unfailingly produces joy while holding and hoarding produces fear and unease.
How shall we little ones share? The ways are infinite for each of us. It can be as small as the simple kindness of a smile for a stranger passing by or a quick thought of blessing for someone we see is suffering. And it can be as big as a nation of people bound together under one banner supporting a program like the Peace Corp that shares the talents of its members and resources of its nation with those outside its borders who are in need.
How much joy would we have if we supported the Peace Corp with the same gusto and bravado that we support our military with? Would we be the richer for it? If we went to our enemies with helping hands would there be as many people out there that are so without hope that they become suicide bombers? Does the sun’s light feel warm on the skin?
Thanks to all those who put their lives on the line so we at home in our nation can light our trees and have a merry Christmas. We as a nation go to war because we love and want to secure our loved ones. Let’s not question the love or the motivation but let’s question the means and its effectiveness. And let’s question how inclusive we can be in our love. How big is our love? How many can we enfold? Is it only big enough for “us” or can we enclose “them” as well and how may we do it? I suggest we can, we will, and we must if we are to save a world for our great, great grand children that resembles anything close to one we ourselves would want to live in.
There is so much joy in sharing. We must not shrink in fear from it. Who will lead us politically on this crucial path? This cannot be a religious crusade. These are far too exclusive. All must be included. Who will lead this great nation of diverse and beautiful people? Who can inspire us, “We The People” to do what must be done as a group, as a nation and as the whole world?
We have spent so many lives and indebted ourselves beyond imagination not in sharing but by clinging in fear trying to protect our way of life. It is time we changed our tact (or lack there of!)
The World Teacher at another time suggested that “you will know them by their fruits”. Terror, I suggest, is a fruit that drops from our own national tree; the results, at least in part, of overt and covert actions taken by our government and corporations, not to mention the everyday small mean actions that we all engage in.) Until we own our contribution to terrorism we won’t take wise and appropriate action to undo it. Such wise and appropriate action, I think, when it comes will look a lot like sharing our resources on an unprecedented scale and making friends with our accusers on our way to court! The joy in the release of tensions by the exhibition of good will, will steal the flame from the fire of terror.
I dedicate this year’s Magic Tree to all who value kindness and the vision of a nation that undoes its enemies through sharing our resources whether they be goods, services, technical know how, or simply an effort toward greater understanding of the issues that divide us so that we can address them with good will. That’s where the terror will end and untold joys begin.