Monday, January 09, 2006

Weary Sentinel

Weary Sentinel, Marion Davis Trail, Miller State Park, Peterborough, NH, January 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/400 sec @ f4.5, ISO 50, no flash © Steven Crisp

Even in your remaining days
You try nobly to remain erect
As your brothers around you
Lift your spirit with their salute

You have seen many seasons
And weathered many storms
Basked in radiant sunlight
And bathed in warm spring showers

Your canopy, now gone
Provided refuge for the forest flock
And shaded many a sojourner
While they enjoyed the view

Your trunk once strong
Now weak and weathered
Held firm against Nor'Easters
And guarded backs of resting wanderers

Soon you will fall, weary sentinel
And begin again your life anew
Fear not, for your keep is safe now
As new guards make their stand

Or consider this short story when contemplating the photograph:
In his book, Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal Artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it." It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain, lest bitterness take root and poison the rest of our life.
-- as quoted by Michael Williams, Morganfield, Kentucky. Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 4.

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