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Sunday, October 28, 2007

At the peak

Red Oak at its peak
I can see it from my workspace window standing tall at the fork of the entry driveway just inside the orchard fence. The red oak is at its peak. The once green of its large oblong pointed lobed leaves is now barely visible. In some leaves the dead leaf brown begins to show. This is the perfect in between time; when the more brilliant red than orange six month old clothing catches my attention. Unlike us who button up and put on heavier coats, the oak with each wind gust shivers and shakes off top-coat layers to bare itself for winter. As the leaves dance to the ground, I go outside and gather some of the best leaves pressing them between waxed paper (with newspaper to keep wax off the ironing board and iron). I then flattened them with heavy books, hoping to preserve the color for our family to enjoy at our Thanksgiving table.

Wendell Barry mentions that trees planted on a farm are a sign of the owner’s “long-term good intentions for the place.” With the hundreds of trees Neil has planted here, he certainly has made a mark for genreations to come. The oak, now about 30 feet tall could last 500 years and mature to 90 or 120 feet tall reflecting his hope for the future. How many generations is five hundred years? I have hope in the future as well, but it comes in the daily pleasures that are hints of the glory of God who will outlast the oldest tree. I guess that is one reason why I try to write a weekly blog to attempt to capture the week in time, press it on the page to preserve the color for family and friends. I admit that I have been “off”, not at peak performance, these last few weeks. Just too much going on and no time to sit and think. So today, over a week late, I shed off my other responsibilities putting on my long term good intentions for this blog as Neil has headed off the island to buy more trees.

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