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Nature's Way

Posted On 2009-08-04 , 9:13 PM

One of the duties I perform for the company which employees me is to manage a plot of land over 800 acres. This is a beautiful wooded portion of East Central Alabama and it is my pleasure to be in a position where I can spend time outdoor doing chores I relish. The other day, however, Mother Nature reminded me why we should never take Her for granted.

On this property is a small cabin which is home to no one, but refuge and sleeping quarters for a variety of outdoor enthusiaists. Directly in front of this cabin is a massive Oak tree which has stood its ground for at least 150 plus years. On one of its huge branches jutting away from the cabin hung a wonderful old swing. This swing was constructed of two half inch ropes hanging down 25 feet from the tree branch and a 3 foot long 2 X 8 board. The ropes were tied to the branch and then ran down through two holes drilled in the board and knotted underneath. Even for a guy like me it was a relaxing time sitting on this wooden seat and swaying under this grand old tree. This swing certainly was a recent addition to the mighty Oak’s arm having only hung there for 15 or 20 years.

When driving up to the cabin, the swing would be there inviting one to get out and admire this reminder of one’s youth extending down from this very old living thing. The tree’s branch measured 32 feet long and measured over 4 feet round at the point it emerged from its trunk. In viewing it, one could only imagine how many events it had lived through during its time on earth and how many more it would jet out through in the future. Never would one imagine this tremendous branch would succumb to the elements after surviving so long. Mother Nature, however, had other plans and once again proved all life as we know it is limited and will not continue forever.

Approaching the front yard of the cabin the other day, I was startled when I saw this wonderful country swing lying on the ground under this gigantic Oak branch. Though I was absent when the branch let go of its rightful place extending out over the yard, all I could imagine was how strong a wind must have roared through this patch of earth to rip this huge mass of wood from its mooring. Never would I have considered this as being able to happen. When looking up into the broken areas of the Oak there was no sign of rot or decay as would be present had the branch previously cracked away from the trunk. It was a clean fresh break and seemed to signify Nature had just decided it was time for this branch to come down. The sight of this and the thoughts of how finite an existence everything has in the overall scheme of life caused me to just stand and stare for minutes on end. It also made me contemplate how we need to live each day as if it is the greatest day of our journey, remembering each morning when I wake of all the blessing bestowed on me since I am alive.

Not to let this aged tree arm just lie on the ground and decompose, I reached into my truck and pulled out my chainsaw. The branch was so large it took me two tanks of gas and about 45 minutes to cut this mass of wood into manageable logs. At its largest end, my 20 inch bar barely reached to make the last few cuts. This way, at least, this mighty length of wood will keep someone warm this winter.


Outdoor Activities Keep Us Healthy

Posted On 2009-05-24 , 11:44 AM

In today's world, so many of us spend too much time working and staying indoors.  We all need to set aside time to get outside and enjoy the wonders of nautre.  Not only will this improve our physical condition, it will also improve our overall mental state.  There are way too many beauties right ouside our offices and homes for us to continue to push them to the side because we are too busy.  Make arrangement, no matter wahat you must cut back on, to get out and enjoy the sunshine and the outside.  Regardless of what you outdoor enjoyments are, get out and do them.


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