By Bob Perks
Bo-@BobPerks.comThe tree in my front yard should have fallen last night.
It didn't budge, nor did it give an inch.
The wind was mighty and the storm which carried it was furious.
Through the years I have waited. Through storms greater than this one and winters so cold and long I was sure I'd see its demise.
But after all this, it was still standing.
I have no idea how old it is, I guess that makes no difference. When you look at it, you would think it to be at least a century that it has stood there.This oddly shaped tree has a few huge branches on one side which makes it appear to be off balance. Stretching skyward many of the smaller limbs are hollow, rotted out remains.
Even so, tiny branches continue to produce enough leaves to keep me busy in the fall and nesting birds protected from the sun.
When I woke up this morning after the latest attack on this mighty tree, I thought for sure it would have been toppled over.
Not a branch, not a limb, nor twig lay on the ground.
With the wind swirling around me in the darkness of the early morning, I stood nearby it shaking my head in disbelief.
"You are magnificent!" I said out loud. "I should pray to God that I be as strong as you through all my years."
I thought how sad it would have been if I had found it toppled over, lying there still full of life as summer ends. I would have known its age then, the only real gain from having lost it. They say just count the rings and it would reveal its history.
But then each morning after, I would open my front door and there would be a space left in its place, an empty spot where life once stood. Next fall, although I hated raking leaves, I would miss the opportunity to toss them in the air, roll around in memories of when my children played within its branches and buried themselves in the colorful confetti-like remains of God's gift to us.
This tree, like a friend in my life, would be missed if it were gone.
Like the hole in the world you'd leave if suddenly the ravages of living took you down. Not having you there would create an empty spot that could not be replaced.
This living, breathing creation of God, this friend of mine, gives me hope. It assures me that I too, can withstand the storms in my life if I stand tall against them and bend a little when I need to.
We measure success by our accomplishments, the things we have, and the places we've been.
But this tree has accomplished so much .........
"Still standing...standing still!"