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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Life Force

Many of you will remember Hurricane Irene - not just as a weather channel news item but because you felt the brunt of it's fury. We're only just now clearing off the last of the downed trees and I believe my guys will be clearing yet another path today. Our eyes have gotten used to paths walled in by sawn off limbs. Our hearts are fairly numb to the piercing we get from our sylvan losses, most of the time, till we take a walk in the forest and come upon one of the great holes in the canopy and have to deal with it again. 

There are a few places where huge holes gape upwards like giant mouths. In this photo all the white used to be tree limbs, sheltering the soft leaf strewn floor, giving off a woodsy scent and furnishing countless homes for numberless squirrels. 
On Sunday BD and I took our regular stroll around the property and we came upon a sight I never see this close - red oak blossoms and tiny yellow oak leaves unfurling. Usually when an oak tree is this fully blooming it's also 50 feet high. This behemoth, though down, is definitely not out yet. Along it's entire length are supple limbs and twigs and sprigs, gushing with life bringing sap. And sure as I'm writing this, there will be one limb that out-thrives the rest - that insists upon living - that will thicken and lengthen and one day will form a strange crooked tree trunk. Because the life force swings back against the inevitable pull of death. It's just that way. In the words of Frost:

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour
then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the lovely post, Bess.

    That is one of my favorite poems. I committed it to memory in my teens (many, many years ago) and I still quote it to myself when I'm walking about in the springtime.

    Bravo for the life force of the oak.

    Carol in Idaho