Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Winter in the Oak

Strong Oak,
Your roots reach deep
Your bark is weathered from the seasons
Your leaves have fallen to the ground and you feel so bare
You fear the cold. You fear the judgmental glances towards your naked branches.
Every flaw in your bark is exposed for the world to see.

As the cold wind rushes through your branches, you shudder and covet the pine, the evergreen, who keeps his green throughout the year.

If only I were more like him. I would be welcomed into homes on the coldest of winter nights.
Children would adorn my branches with all that glitters and families would sing round my whole.
I would want for nothing.
I would be beautiful.

But you Oak, you are strong and wide.
You have seen many seasons. You have weathered many storms.
The wind has blown. The freeze has come and gone and come again.
And still, here you stand.

Lovers have carved their initials in your bark
Boys have climbed your branches
Little girls have squealed with delight as they swing back and forth
Families sit on a quilt in the shade that your branches yield

You don't realize your strength or your beauty. You don't see your majesty and grace.
Your roots reach deep, your branches stretch tall and wide. Your bark tells the story of the battles you have fought.  Your rings sing the song of the victories have won.

You, great oak, are strong.

Though your branches are bare, there is a beauty that winter brings.
Embrace this season as you did the last.

You are strong.