Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Refresh Button - Saturday, Feb 15th.

I hadn't been woods'ing in a while. Not with my brother Evan and my son Donavon and Jax the dog, anyway. So we packed machetes, knives and raw ground beef and hit the woods near the Broad River.

Within the forest, some really big trees had fallen. Some had fallen because others fell against them. Yet others had simply fallen. Not because they'd died. Probably because of a particularly strong wind.

Upon seeing a stretch of Five of the fallen trees, my gut reaction was sadness. So many trees, all so tall, so majestic. They were so old, had seen so much, they made up so much of the forest. They had offered so much to the forest, contributed so much... in the past.

But lying on their side, these Five trees were much easier to climb. And once I'd climbed one I discovered a view of the forest I'd never experienced. I could see for miles. Down the massive hill, across the Broad River, up the slopes on the far side that still wore snow and out over a pasture I never even knew was there.

It was in those newly accessible branches that I had an epiphany.

It is sad that the Five big trees fell. When they did, they took down others with them. Others whose only crime was to exist in their vicinity... in their shadow.

But the bigger the hole that is left, the greater the chance for new life.

In the roots of the fallen trees were masses of dirt, wrenched free of the earth and exposed for all to see. It seemed ugly at first... like the remains of a bad wreck. But the dirt was rich... The perfect place for new life to grow. And what better place for new plants than in the woods, free of the enshrouding canopy of these Five enormous trees?

It is sad that the Five big trees fell. But it was inevitable. Because trees, like everything else, can either grow, or die. If they continue to grow, all life around them becomes stunted, receiving only what little sunlight and rain they let pass. And that's not a forest. It's just Five huge, bloated trees, taking everything for themselves.

Here's to new life.

PS. On an unrelated note (or not), there's a website I'll be posting a permanent link to in my sidebar called It's very informative for anyone considering making writing their career. Go have a look at this particular post, for example, and see what I mean.


  1. From death always springs new life.
    Is that snow I see? Was it cold?
    And that might be a website I can add to the IWSG site!

  2. Alex, if the Carolinas are anything like North Ga, you'll totally understand that although yes, that is snow, no it wasn't cold. It was 60+ degrees. Typical Ga whiplash weather. ... Thus my current sinus pressure. :(

    By all means, have a look at that site. It's super informative, although perhaps a bit biased toward the indies!

  3. What beautiful pix and yeah, effective analogies. Glad I stumbled upon your blog.

  4. Funny how one post can make me think of so many things.

    1) If only one of the five trees had fallen, and managed to crash to the earth without taking any of the others down, it really wouldn't have made much difference. Yes, one tree would have fallen, but the landscape would have pretty much have remained the same.

    2) The lyrics from an old Amy Grant song came to me while reading this post. I say old because it was on one of her older albums when I was a teenager. So yeah, old. And I don't remember it exactly but it was something like "If you aren't working toward living you are working toward dying." There is no middle ground. It's always one or the other.

    3) As we live our lives, what sort of a mark on the landscape will we make when we leave it? When we pass, will it be like only one tree going down in a forest filled with trees? Or will it be more like five trees going down, leaving a huge hole? Yes, there will be sadness because that huge hole exists. In time, other people will fill that hole and contribute their gifts to this life experience. Maybe they wouldn't have had the resources, or courage, or desire to step up if that hole didn't happen. We always wonder why great or wonderful or loving people die. Maybe the answer is found in your five trees. They leave a big hole and that is fertile ground for other people to dig into and make their own impact on this world.

    1. Robin,
      You've made very good points.
      The landscape would indeed have remained the same... something to think about.
      I haven't heard the name Amy Grant in a long time! But that lyric sounds familiar.
      Heck yes, very true. Since you put it that way, I'd like to leave fertile ground behind me when I go... And maybe focusing on what one leaves behind is something that should be given greater priority in our lives...

  5. Looks like a special place in the woods. Someday new trees will take their place, but at least the spirit of the forest remains:)

  6. Hopefully as long as I'm alive at least.

  7. Hey David, I dedicated something to you on the Thursday post. Hope you like it:)

  8. I know what you mean. I'm all for the fall and new life, but that moment of transition is always a troubling one. As human beings, we like our routine and expected way of life. We resist change. Here's to welcoming change and embracing something new!


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