What does a sycamore tree have to do with the life of the spirit?

When I was a girl, my immediate family lived on a hilltop in southwestern Ohio, which my grandparents, who also lived there, called Sycamore Hill, due to the proliferation of sycamore trees in our woods and along our creek. For the past nearly 40 years, my husband and I have lived in a house with a tiny suburban back yard almost overwhelmed by its one tree — you guessed it! A sycamore, which has been home to children’s swings and birdfeeders, and provided almost too much shade. A sycamore is, to me, always a sign of the abundance of God’s good creation in nature and among family and friends.

Add to that the Biblical story of the man named Zacchaeus, who climbed a sycamore tree in order to get a better look at Jesus, who was surrounded by a crowd. Now, the term “sycamore” in their locale applies to what we in North America would call a fig tree, but the same properties hold: Sturdy branches for climbing, and lush green leaves, perhaps for concealing oneself while peering out. And so a sycamore is also a sign of the desire to see and know the spiritual dimension of life, however one might define or practice that pathway.

The name “Sycamore Spirituality” encompasses it all: creation, seeking, abundance, and the expansiveness and friendship of God.

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