|View up from our courtyard|
There are vast varieties of palm trees. Looking out the windows now, I can see the round Pony Tail Palm, iconic Coconut Palms, and the grand Royal Palms, just to name a few. There is another palm tree in our yard that I especially like for Holy Week, although I'm not certain what it is called. At the base of the fronds are dagger like thorns, each about 3-4" long. I can't help but think that this palm is a little sermon God gives us through His creation.
These fronds tell us the Holy Week story. The beautiful leaves march us along to Palm Sunday. They wave, "Hosanna! Save us Lord!" Follow to the base of each frond, and the thorns answer our plea as they remind us of Christ's humiliation, and our salvation, on Good Friday.
On the cross, Jesus tells the thief, "today you will be with me in Paradise". The palm itself is more than a decoration for Palm Sunday, but perfect throughout the season of Easter as we rejoice in the eternal Paradise that is ours by Christ's saving death on the cross and triumphant resurrection.
Be sure to use work gloves while harvesting the palms! I cut off the thorns because of the little ones in my home, but once they're older I'll again leave a few on. I like to arrange three palm fronds in each vase. Three is always a good number for design - and the perfect Trinitarian number too! If you're working with large, heavy branches, be sure to use a sturdy vase and stones or another weight to keep the vase anchored. In years past I've also placed a purple cloth under the arrangement in keeping with Lent. Don't forget to replace the purple with a white or gold cloth on Easter Sunday!
Fear not northerners, your local florist is well stocked with palms right now. They should only cost about a dollar a stem, and you won't have to worry about thorns.