Monkey Puzzle

In the grounds of Egremont Castle grows a Monkey Puzzle Tree. These are truly beautiful creations with their spiny leaves and distinctive branches. It is these that produce the green- and gold-coloured cones, with their hair-like edges, on the tips of branches. They ripen over two to three years, turning brown and releasing their seeds. This seems a long time to wait, but the Jays and Grey Squirrels which feast upon them must think the wait worthwhile. The worldly saying goes ‘the best things come to those who wait’. Writes James in his fifth chapter:

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (vv7-8, NKJV).