Pine trees seem to defy death.

This is probably why I prefer them over Oaks or Maples; losing their leaves, their green, fading in the fall.

I don’t know that I ever consciously connected long life with Pine life, but I have always felt more alive amongst Pines. The visual awareness of Pines certainly increases the pleasure in my brain. But what really gets to me is the smell. Even an open bottle of Pine Sol is intoxicating.

After a recent drought and hot summer last year, I’ve noticed a number of dead Pines. I’m grieved. I can tell you where they are. I would be glad to cut them down and replant in their place a new green Pine or Fir. I would hardly take notice of most other trees if they had died. A few special ones perhaps, but not like Pines. Pines are unique. They promise and deliver on long life. I’ve seen too many lives cut short, stood by bedsides on deathwatch. Wondered about my own mortality. So a Pine tree is a bit of a snort, a defiant gesture, an announcement that life is good and worth leaning into.

There are some Pines in the western mountains that started life around 5,000 years ago. That’s a lot of promise. Decay for sure, but solid, living pulp with skin on it putting out fresh green needles each year. I like living. I like Pine trees. I love the smell.

The one thing that will live the longest is God’s word. It has outlasted everything on this earth. “The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:7-8).

Like Pine trees, God’s word is refreshing and stimulating, long lasting and invigorating to our senses. Enjoy it. It will preserve and enliven you.