Just outside my bedroom window is a wonderful old pecan tree. Her days of being beautiful left her eons ago yet she vigilantly stands her post in the middle of a small pasture.
It’s fascinating to think, that magnificent, amiable tree started with only a seed.
Once she stood tall and was shapely, now she bears the scars brought forth by years of overcoming multitudes of trials and tribulation.
In youth, her leaves were thick and luxurious so that the darkened shadow that she cast, blocked the unbearable heat from the blistering summer sun. She gave comforting shade to cattle, and horses, in the summer and shelter in the rain or ice. In return, they ate the leaves from her ever-shielding limbs. Still, she stood.
Birds of every kind found their way to rest on her sturdy boughs during the punishing temperatures, both hot and cold. They flitted about, with no thought, they were spattering their droppings on her. Still, she stoods.
She was a banquet and a playground for squirrels who delighted in playfully climbing and jumping from branch to branch, which jarred her to her roots, leaving her bruised and battered. She was a firm stake for wild poison ivies that chaffed everywhere they attached and spread prolifically until they nearly choked the life from her.
Over time, ravaging ice storms and strong winds, left her with split and dying limbs. Some mended over time, some she watched wither away until she could hold on no longer. When they fell, it left her once beautiful body, deformed. Not wanting to be separated from her, even in death, the severed limbs lie in their earthen tombs, resting in the shadow of the comfort tree. Still, she stood.
Not knowing any other way, her twisted body held open its arms, offering solace to wounded souls. The sun and heat, leached through the holes in the shadows to herald the news that there are hollow places in her heart. Still she stood.
Come sit at my feet she cried, when her canopy was crushed from the weight she had carried. Broken and damaged she kept her vigil, even through darkest of night, to give support to all that have needs. Still she stood.
She is not as tall as once she was. Her gnarled limbs, which have given refuge to many, still stretch, though not as far . Now they look like awkward fingers, reaching into heaven to grasp the Maker’s hand, for now, it is she who needs support. Still she stands…..
The similarities I discern between she and I, are completely overwhelming to my innate feeling of fraternity. My banner shall say. . . . Still, I stand!