It’s been a longer winter then normal. For myself longer because of the weather, our change in latitude and certainly my academic pursuits. I have spent most of my time writing for work, research and grades not for my own pleasure as is here. All comes to an end this month, both the winter I hope and as it looks my research. This morning for the first time in many I was at liberty to read for my own enjoyment and now maybe a little writing as well. In the course of the day we decided to trot off to the great dunes of Southwest Michigan and take in a little hiking, where I ran across this fine pin oak (Quercus palustris). Weathered by the lake winds, standing strong in the sandy native soil and set against a crystal blue sky it marked the tone of my morning read. The connection in one day prompted me to share.
“The old tree down the lane, the old oak tree touched by the storms and fires of many ages, with roots deep in the native soil, has a message to tell. He has listened to the tramping feet of the Indians on their war path, to the pioneers in search of gain; he has listened to the cradle song of Indian squaws and to the cry of little children of the pioneers. He is now old, but beautiful in mature age. He speaks of the past, and he speaks of the tomorrow because his offspring will carry his memory into the distant future. In his old age he still sings the song of spring, life resurrected, jubilant and beautiful, with golden tassels in his hair silhouetted against the blue sky of his native land. Like a landmark he looms over the edge of the prairie, casting a radiant light on his environment. And when summer days are on the wane, great is his contribution to our autumn festival when all living growth joins together in all the colors of the setting sun for one last song before winter night calls for rest and slumber. To understand and appreciate the message of this old oak means more for the good life then all the books of man” (Jensen, 1939, p. 8).
Jens Jensen - Siftings
Today I was reminded of the importance in connecting to this message of the oak whilst in my learning journey through the books of men. - Garth