Monday, September 23, 2019

Sronger Than The Mighty Oak

Eight years ago we planted a mini dogwood tree in our front yard. Not paying close attention to the spot we picked, as the tiny sprout grew it began to block the walkway leading to the front door. Except for the mailman and the UPS driver, everybody we know comes to the side door which leads to the family room and the kitchen. That's where we'll usually be...watching TV or stuffing our faces!

At the end of July, after hearing my hubby complain about being smacked in the face by the dogwood's lovely outstretched branches for the umpteenth time, I grabbed the pruner and hacked away! When I was finished, all that remained was the skinny trunk and a few amputated arms. I felt horrible. I have never destroyed anything I'd planted before, heck I even catch the stink bugs in the house and throw them outside instead of drowning them in the toilet. The only living things in Nature that I will kill are flies...I hate flies!

Every morning when I would open the blinds, the ugly truth of what I'd done was staring me in the face...the skinny trunk with a few amputated arms. My self-loathing was unbearable.  How could I have snuffed out the life of one of God's most beautiful creations? Hell, there's even a poem immortalized in 1913 by Joyce Kilmer, a famous poet, that raises the statute of a tree's elegance to heavenly heights. In case you've never heard of Kilmer who happened to have been a man, or his exquisite poem, I've taken the liberty to include it here:

 "Trees" (1913)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.[2][3][19][n. 2]

Twelve lines that would haunt me until my dying day, I feared!
Then, lo and behold, one day as I was pulling weeds out front, I noticed a small leaf had erupted from one of the severed arms. I rubbed my eyes and looked again just to make sure I wasn't delusional. Sure enough the leaf was real! And although it was tiny, it elevated my spirits immensely because it symbolized the incredible strength of the mini dogwood, stronger than the mighty oak in this situation,which had somehow managed to sustain the brutal attack I had inflicted upon it and was still ALIVE! Praise the Lord!
Each day more and more leaves appeared, brilliant in color, beautiful in design! When I called my hubby's attention to the fact that the tree was growing once again, I couldn't believe his response, 'I felt bad about what you did,' he murmured, ' I really liked that tree!' If I wasn't afraid of going to jail for life without the possibility of parole, I think he might have been my next victim! WHAT I DID? HE WAS THE ONE WHO GOADED ME INTO COMMITTING THIS UNSPEAKABLE CRIME FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! MEN!
Every morning now, I can't wait to open the blinds to see the progress of the mini dogwood. I marvel at how intent she is to regain her strength and grow upward and outward despite what she was forced to endure. This tree in our front yard is a constant reminder to me that no matter how much pain and desperation life throws at us, the will to live is the strongest motivation in the human spirit...we need only to tap into our Soul which is stronger than the mighty oak and certainly as strong as this mini dogwood to not only survive but to thrive!
Blessings and Peace!


  1. I really liked this post, and I'm glad your dogwood tree survived.