It has been called my pet aversion. It disfigured the wooded landscape as far as eye can see. It wraps itself around the tree covering up its beautiful bark. It grows so profusely that it could be a candidate for the National emblem!
After all it is much easier to find than shamrock but perhaps a bowl of ivy wouldn’t go down as well as shamrock on the annual St Patrick’s Day presentation at the White House! It does manage to achieve fame in songs and Christmas Cards where it is usually joined to holly.
Equally at home on the ground as in climbing trees, walls and any building it can reach, this Hedera helix or common ivy is everywhere. No self-respecting cow will touch it although sheep value it for its medicinal properties. There is a song which declares “little lambs eat ivy” but I have yet to see it happen!
Situated in the Atlantic Ocean the Island of Ireland is prone to gales. When these occur ivy bound trees produce considerable wind resistance, the ivy growth acting like a sail. Ash trees, which are last in Spring to grow their leaves and first in Autumn to lose them, would present little wind resistance in a gale were it not for the ivy which festoons them. The result is road closures from fallen trees with the added complication of electricity and telephone wires being brought down.
When it comes to sawing the fallen timber much of it is encased in ivy is useless or requires a day’s work clearing and disposing of the ivy. Some would argue that it provides a good host for insects but there are plenty of places where ivy grows that could provide shelter for them without resorting to trees.
It is this clinging feature about the ivy that makes it so like sin. It looks good yet if left unchecked will completely entangle its victim. It continues to grow, disfiguring the tree and rendering it of little use. It finally brings it crashing down.
As St James wrote of this progressive factor: – “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (Chapter 1 verses 14/15).
And the answer; Jesus said, you search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life (St John Chapter 5 verse 40).
Go to Jesus.