Posted by MK | Filed under Uncategorized
The Ténéré wastelands of northeastern Niger were once populated by a forest of trees. By the 20th century, desertification had wiped out all but one solitary acacia. The Tree of Ténéré, as it came to be called, had no companions for 400 km in every direction. Its roots reached nearly 40 m deep into the sand. That’s over 131 feet. Which is almost half the length of a football field.
When Michel Lesourd of the Central Service of Saharan Affairs first came upon the tree in 1939, he wrote: “One must see the Tree to believe its existence. What is its secret? How can it still be living in spite of the multitudes of camels which trample at its sides? How at each azalai does not a lost camel eat its leaves and thorns? Why don’t the numerous Touareg leading the salt caravans cut its branches to make fires to brew their tea? The only answer is that the tree is taboo and considered as such by the caravaniers. There is a kind of superstition, a tribal order which is always respected. Each year the azalai gather round the Tree before facing the crossing of the Ténéré. The Acacia has become a living lighthouse; it is the first or the last landmark for the azalai leaving Agadez for Bilma, or returning.”
Yes! A lighthouse indeed. So shall it be with those whose roots grow deep:
The man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed. He will be like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness,
in a salt land where no one lives. The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit (Jeremiah 17:5-8).