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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)

TITLE: Outback Oasis.
By Allison Millward
12/12/05


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In the midst of the 'Red Centre', in the searing heat, lies an outback oasis. It's possibly hard to imagine such a place in such a harsh setting.

Perhaps in the earlier days in Australia's past, this fertile spot may have been a camping area for nomadic aboriginals; maybe even explorers had sheltered there. The oasis lay at the foot of a rocky outcrop, one of many rock formations throughout the desert region.

Perhaps what makes this area rather unique is the number of native trees surrounding this rather small area. The desert can become rather cold at night, so the heat from the rocks meeting the cold night's air, can produce quite a large amount of moisture which then drips down indentations in the rock, to a small clear pond.

Eucalypt, gum and wattle trees seem to flourish well there. They tend to have a long, extending root system that adapts well to changes in water availability. The roots remain reasonably close to the surface at times, enabling them to gather all available moisture. Lush native grasses have wedged themselves in the many small crevices.

Rain is rare in these parts, except for during the monsoon season. This brings refreshing and large amounts of water to the desert..at times even flooding the area. Strangely enough, these hardy native trees stand tall and healthy even when water is in short supply.

Many have come to the conclusion that perhaps the wild black cockatoos, lorikeets or other native birds, must have dropped recycled seeds in the area. All it needed was these few seeds to cause so may sturdy, life-giving beauties of nature, to sprout right at this outback spot.

God works in a similar way...he enables a seed of interest and desire to be placed within us, and like the tree sprouting, we too will grow. Given the right climatic conditions, the trees will either adjust to new conditions; grow at full strength..or give up and die if adverse conditions come their way. The likely outcome for the native trees in the setting where God has placed them, is that they will grow strong and tall..reaching out and touching, sheltering, feeding and protecting another.

It is the same with us...God knows the place and the time that seeds will be placed within us. Depending on our surroundings, we too will grow; adjust to new things..or give up and die away....but God makes sure that there are all the surroundings and tools somewhere within reach to help us to grow at full strength in Him...to reach out and touch another; offer shelter, even if it is offering a mere hug; offering someone a meal or standing up for those we love.

Since the beginning of time, trees have been like a kind of 'backbone' for human survival. Different types have provided so many of our needs...food, shelter, transport, oxygen, glue, medicine, fibre and even water supplies. Humans and creatures alike have been sustained by trees.

Perhaps that is why God provided the 'tree of life'..and that tree is everlasting....trees are life-givers.


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Sandra Petersen 12/18/05
Your first six paragraphs describe the outback oasis with great clarity. I was very interested. A few places where I would tighten up the writing, but generally very good.
The last four paragraphs, to create a greater impact and make your message stronger, could perhaps be written in two paragraphs. The second to last paragraph seemed to not quite fit. Excellent last sentence! I would put "Trees are life-givers" at the beginning of that sentence rather than the end to draw the focus to the true Life-Giver.
Excellent meditation, and thank you for piquing my curiosity about the 'Red Centre' and this oasis!