The old dead oak tree stood on the hill above me, a bark-less memory of another life. This old gray wooden statue held his head high among the young oaks still generations away from the gray of death. They were prospering in the insulated virility of their youth. The old oak was limbless except for his main branches reaching into the air like a man frozen in a still frame while waving at a passerby.
As beautiful as the other oaks in the grove were, it was this old one that caught my eye. He created contrast in the grove. His bark-less limbs had been buffed shiny gray by the grit of time. He has stood decades in this posture of death following hundreds of years of the green life. The other younger oaks surrounding him were birthed from the offering of this old one.
I stood on the trail for several minutes watching the old oak. Some day a strong wind will topple his last upright witness pulling him back to the ground from which he first rose centuries ago the fruit of a single acorn.
This is the stuff of life. We are all on a journey of life-seasons. Each one is given by God as a gift and each one carries beauty and significance. The young and barked and the old and barren each have their place in the grove of life. Celebrate each other. It is the way of goodness.