The beauty of the sour gum tree in Fall

Many years ago the instructor of my Gurdjieff class told me that I had a rich life. She was referring to the fact that my inner world contained lots of interesting ideas. I had developed my talents as a visual artist, a creative writer, and now she was taken by my having purchased 10 acres of Illinois farmland, built a passive solar home and planted hundreds of wonderful trees on the property.

These trees included various fruit and nut trees, but their utility went even beyond that. Some trees provided shelter from wintery winds, others, cool shade in the dog days of summer. They all improved the soil and raised my water table! The birds and small mammals certainly appreciated my efforts to reclaim the property for Mother Nature.

Finally, my trees were chosen for beauty. This beauty was provided by the different growing characteristics of the trees, their type of bark, leaf shape, bloom and fall color.

Nyssa sylvatica (pepperidge, black tupelo, sour gum) is a tree that performs well in wet soil—so I planted it by my pond. But its real beauty comes in fall when its leaves turn a glossy orange and red. Its color easily competes with the sugar maples in northern growing zones and is a reliable color producer for warmer areas.

(The photos above are of the actual sour gum tree growing on my property.)

There was a spiritual angle to this entire project. I shared the deeper, spiritual significance of this lifestyle in my first book Sermon From The Compost Pile.

But rather than counting on people reaching into their pockets and purchasing the book I decided to bring a little of the beauty and richness of that lifestyle to my readers with today’s post. I hope I brought a little beauty into your life!


About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
This entry was posted in Reality, spirituality, unity and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The beauty of the sour gum tree in Fall

  1. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing. These are not so easy to find at nurseries, along with the native sourwood, another wild fall stunner. If you have wild sassafras I will really be jealous! My only claim to natural wild fall beauty in my city yard is a serviceberry – and I love to eat the berries in June, if the birds don’t nab them all first.

    • thegodguy says:


      Thanks for your positive response! And, yes I do have several wild sassafras trees on my property (I also have several serviceberries).

      Spiritually yours,

  2. Kenny rumrill says:

    Beautiful trees. Thank you for posting the pictures and for your delightful perspective on matters of the natural and spiritual worlds.

  3. Becky Maring says:

    How beautiful, Ed!!!! You have been a conduit of many talents and blessings!! Last time I was there, they were little babies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s