LONESOME SHADOWS

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It is the fate of all living things that death will find them in the end. Birth, be it from the seed of a tree or the seed of a man, is the beginning of a journey called life that can have but one outcome, death. 

These mighty oak trees have majestically stood sentinel over this beautiful point for centuries. They no doubt witnessed the arrival of the long hunters and sadly the leaving of the Bison. They watched in silence as the Whiteman took away the Redman’s way of living in reverence and harmony with the natural world around them. In the hundreds of years of their existence time has changed a lot of things. However not everything has gone away, the good earth in splendor and beauty and the canopy of the stars above still sustain us. We are tethered one to another by the common umbilical of the life giving Universe. Native Americans have reverence for nature and respect for her ways, perhaps one of them while contemplating this beautiful point planted the acorns that gave life to these mighty oaks.

Well over a century ago a graveyard was begun under the shadow of these trees that even then were old. Under their overarching branches many of my kin have been placed at rest. Ancestors and cousins, babies and ancients, all under these ever present sturdy oaks. As I touch one I am flooded with thoughts of who stood in their shadow before me wondering the same thoughts I wonder. I believe that everyone who touched these trees left some faint trace of their essence imprinted within them. Perhaps I am being sentimental but I feel a certain peace as I ponder the life and death cycle of nature as represented by these ravaged old oaks.

Though centuries old none of these great oaks succumbed to old age, strangely, after hundreds of years of living they were killed in rapid secession by massive lighting strikes. This happened to each tree individually but only a year or so apart. I witnessed the first strike one night which was an unbelievable discharge coming straight down looking like a column of bluish light. Even though from my vantage I could not see the cemetery I knew one of the trees was hit. A trip to the cemetery the next day confirmed the center tree was hit. At the time I thought at least it missed the biggest tree. I never suspected that in a couple of years lighting would kill the other two. 

Still mighty in death these old skeletons who long stood sentinel over the graves now cast lonesome shadows. In the very near future they will fade into the earth as it is the fate of all living things to do so. Their shadows will grow short and soon cease to be forevermore but the graves will remain on this beautiful point.