Two Oaks

There was apparently some confusion on time and place for our Thanksgiving dinner last year. It wasn’t my fault this time… I was only an hour late getting the turkey over there… Our family seems to have different plans for different celebrations from year to year — it can be a bit confusing, especially for an old guy like me. However, my mother-in-law, Grandma, had a different, more consistent system. It was the same every year. No matter who was upset with who (and that seemed to change from one event to another), and no matter how big or how small, her children and all her Grandchildren, even her Ex— no exclusions, no excuses, no exceptions — the party was at her house every time. Everybody knew the celebration was at her house.

Now, some people don’t like the Winter. They might even say that they “hate” it. I love the four seasons . They speak to me as the renewal of all things, the constancy of Life. Just like Grandma’s holiday master plan…

Rambling on, there’s these two huge oak trees across the street, right next to one another. One dropped its leaves early — weeks before, but the other seemed to keep hanging on to them. Both had those typically beautiful auburn, copper-brown leaves that seemed to glow in the sun, even in those muted colors. They had beauty in their apparent death, but in Spring comes the promise of their new life — a resurrection in a manner of speaking. We are like those trees. Some slip into death in a seemingly comfortable serene way. Others seem to hang onto it’s their lives with desperate persistence, fighting against the persistent reality of winter. Yet, do you know what those two trees teach me? Not surprisingly, two things: First, the processes are very natural. Second, as in all of Nature, if you think about it, it is the same way with a lot of things…

Far from considering that, as I continue with this discordant storytelling, it arises as a sorry state of affairs how far from the natural world we have fallen, or if you will, how far the world has become separated from what is natural. Living in congested but barren cement and asphalt cities is not beneficial. For a more controversial example is the defacement of nature’s arrangement of male and female throughout existence. Sure. If you look hard enough for exceptions, you’ll find a few that at first, look like exceptions. Some even can stretch the truth far enough to cover their own beds which they try to sleep in — like illustrating their philosophy by discussing the asexual nature of viruses, bacteria, worms… But I am talking about mold or fungus. I am referring to the higher forms of life — those that can actually communicate with words and pictures and gestures.

(By the by, before someone jumps down my throat, pretending to be offended, and goes down that Road of Superior Morality, I have no disrespect for individuals in the LGBTQ+ Community. I have been taught and grown intellectually under a university guest professor, regarding doing something constructive with one’s leadership role. The Bible teaches aht all have sinned and fallen short and therefore don’t cast stones or presume to take sawdust out of another person’s eye. So, and with respect, I do not rudely ask anyone for their sexual credentials, political credentials, or any other credentials for that matter. It’s not my place. I really have no interest in such authoritarian rules and procedures. “Papers, please.” ? No. I don’t think so.)

Now, back to “the rest of the story…”

It is too bad that we are destroying a very neglected and abused woman, Mother Nature. She is the very home in which we live — and we are destroying her house in every possible way that a person can think of — Social Interaction, Environmental Dynamics, Family, Society, Civilization itself, everything on the whole Earth… the whole world… everything…

Everything is going sideways as a result.

However, here comes the epitaph for my gravestone, that is, my bucket of ashes to be dumped into the river. No matter. Here comes part two first, and also backtracking a bit: We can even “commune with Mother Nature” herself… If we listen, then we can consider changing our behavior and give a little respect for the One who actually sets our Thanksgiving Dinner table.

The moral to the story (so far): Stop. Stop destroying Social Interaction, Environmental Dynamics, Family, Society, Civilization itself and the Earth under our feet.

I know that this writing has similarity to a scatter gun, but it is what it is.

Anyways, in conclusion (well, I’m almost there), as a Born Again/Bible Reading/ Christian, I know this reality of renewal (below) can be in all of our lives. Like the four seasons, like those two oak trees, every day and every night, in all situations, and available without exception, a passage to remember: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:22–23, ESV)

Last of all or perhaps, first of all, lastly, and as the saying goes, “you don’t have to take my word for it…” Try God. Read the Bible and ask Him to explain it all to you. Then you can exercise your free will and decide whether or not you need to ask Jesus into your life and help you solve this mess, rake up the leaves maybe. Many people try to meet God on their own terms and conclude, “I’ve tried God, and He didn’t come through for me.” In that case, may I suggest asking instead of demanding. He is, after all, loving, but He is also the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and as any father would like to see, just a little bit of respect, please.

He has what we need. We don’t. Fortunately, He has a Christmas gift for us. (Too soon? Too late?) We need only to reach out with our hand to receive it — like a child would.

I know those two Oak trees across the street will leaf out and blossom into the hearty fullness of the soon-to-be-here, green of Spring… Another year for thanksgiving…

My apologies, because my Copy Editor, who is also my wife, says this writing just doesn’t flow. I know she is right. Sorry, I do apologize, but I just don’t know how to fix it without using Select All/Delete. I think this is “The End” but one never really knows, do they?

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between