Men came. They came with axes and saws and chains and they began to bite and gnaw at my base until they pulled me down. They dismembered me and hauled me away in pieces. But I was not defeated. Beneath the cold ground my roots found the strength to live. I will never yield. I will never give up. I will live.
On the banks of the Kanawha River at the little Kanawha Falls park is another of my favorite trees. The sandbar willows are vigorous. The roots are strong and grow deep enough to anchor them against flooding. Willows are also the source of growth and rooting hormones found in the gardening supplies. Which is why this particular willow has a second lease on life A closer view of the willow prop roots.
This willow was cut down a few years ago and when I first noticed the trees growing up from the stump I thought that they were separate trees and that the stump was just caught up by the new growth. But on closer inspection I found that this is all the same tree. The tree was just that determined to live.
Forests are good analogs for society. In the Bible when Jesus heals the blind man it takes two attempts. Jesus spits on the ground and makes clay which is put on the man’s eyes and when Jesus asks what he sees the man replied that he saw men as trees that walk. I believe that it wasn’t a failure of Jesus and that he had to try again. Instead, I believe that Jesus first opened the blind man’s spiritual vision before opening his natural vision. In short, I believe that Jesus was showing the blind man something special. There are other places in the Bible where mankind is likened to trees. Actually, there’s a lot of places in the Bible that trees symbolize mankind, tribes or kings.
There is always going to be times of great loss. Times when it looks like we’ve lost all of our growth. The “powers that be” are always eager to pull us down and part out our gains. But if our roots are strong and we are determined we can come back stronger than ever.
Another tree secret is that trees are a community. Science has proven that they even talk to each other through a fungal network that even helps them exchange sugars. The forest will even keep very old stumps alive and try to help them regrow. It’s possible that some old stumps even serve as a databank for the surrounding forest just as mankind needs those from previous generations to lead and guide us.
When the leaves are on we can see that the old willow stump is definitely still alive.
My final thought for tonight is to never give up and never accept the face value of any situation as the final outcome. Each and every one of us is stronger than we think and we all have the opportunity to rise again and start over.Image Titled “Rebirth 112420b”.
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
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