In school, long ago, I learned in order to learn a tree’s age, you count its rings.

That was long before I ever took ownership of property, or ever planted a tree.

Since that time, I’ve planted trees in the yard and watched them grow. The trees have gotten taller, added rings, and helped us to remember family milestones that have taken place.

The trees have grown stronger and are more firmly entrenched in the ground because of a strong network of roots.

A few months ago, I initiated a plan for the Dacula Lions Club to plant a tree on Memorial Day, at Olde Mill Park in Historic Downtown Dacula. I was very proud of this, since our club united together to handle the various aspects of the project.

The Dacula Lions Club joined other Lions Clubs all around the world to help plant more than nine million trees this year. Millions of communities provided with tangible signs of dedication. Millions of legacies left. Millions of memories created from planting the trees, with many more memories to come.

Memorial Day came and the tree was proudly presented. And as it always is in Dacula on Memorial Day, the day was glorious and memorable.

Photos were taken of the presentation.

Afterwards I asked my daughter to take a photo of my wife and I, since the project was personally important to both of us – and also as a sign that the flurry of activity leading up to the day was over! We were tired!

My kids also wanted to have their photo taken in front of the tree, as well.

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One small tree, with mighty significance for so many – each of us understanding the importance of our community and the strong tree roots that are sure to take hold in a community we cherish.

I’m not sure if my family and I will see the tree grow to its highest point, as life can sometimes have a way of calling us to other communities to live and serve. And of course, I don’t know where my children will choose to live when they grow into adulthood.

I am certain though, that the roots of the tree will strengthen, the tree will grow, and the rings will increase in number – providing a tangible sign of the love we share for serving, and for the community in which we live.

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