Where Once An Ancient Oak Stood
Down by the swimming hole an ancient oak stood
with it's limbs sprawling just as wide as it was tall.
Back in the day, this particular tree was so special.
That's when children loved to play outside and all.
Families would converge upon that end of town,
spread blankets down on the ground. There they
would picnic beneath the leafy green. Good times!
The oak provided shade from the sun and from it's
long strong limbs hung tire swings for the little ones.
It was fun when the bigger kids would grab hold of
the knotted rope tied from a branch that stretched
perfectly out over the water. Strange sounds could
be heard when some of the boys would let out Tarzan
yells as they clung to the rope, swung from the rope
and eventually let go. Oh such wondrous memories
were made there for both young and old!
But many years have passed, some good things
never last and this was to be the fate for this old
tree. A bad storm was a brewing, people were
warned to stay inside. When the winds began to
blow, many lightning bolts had struck the ground.
But, the only one that hit hard was the one that
had split the oak right through it's middle. The tree
came crashing down. Hurt and wounded so deeply,
and the pain was so severe, the tree gave up it's
will to live. But God had another plan.
Some men came one day to remove the fallen tree.
They took the main part away that had dried up and
completely died but were hesitant to remove the part
that had fallen into the water. They saw green leaves
growing on it. Where there is green, there is hope! For
memory's sake, they left it there to see if it would survive.
You see, a couple of those men were the very same boys,
who in the past, had swung from the knotted rope. They
didn't have the heart to chop it up and take it all away.
Now the oak had been listening intently and when it
heard their decision, it had a new outlook on things.
Instead of looking at the old swimming hole as a sense
of strife, it began looking upon it as something ever so
grand. He would call it 'the still waters of life'. If it hadn't
been for the nourishment, the quenching of it's thirst that
hole filled with water had given to him, he would have
shriveled up and died completely. Somehow, even though
things had been looking pretty grim, the tree's sense of
worth was now renewed. It felt it had the 'courage to live'
for the very first time in a long time. And live it did!
It took a little while but 'tempered by time', the tree
began to thrive. It grew across to the other side of
the swimming hole forming a bridge. That bridge was
discovered by two boys who happened to skip school
one day. They had heard from their parents about a
magical place they used to go to when they were kids.
No one had gone there since the lightning scare and
hearing the tree was no longer there. The boys could
not wait to explore, so off they went, down the road!
Upon reaching the site where the old oak once stood,
the boys saw a row of turtles lined up head to tail on
the topside of a limb just basking away in the sun. They
climbed upon the same limb and began crossing the
pond when one of them fell in. The friend, still standing,
laughed so hard, it wasn't long before he lost his balance
and he too fell in! They truly had so much fun that day!
The boys couldn't wait to tell their friends about their
adventure. It didn't take long for the news to spread.
Slowly but surely, the townspeople began heading
out to the old swimming hole again. The children, a
brand new generation of kids, had the time of their
lives. They'd been so used to being inside all the time
playing their computer games and such, they had no
idea what it was like to run and play and enjoy the
fresh air and warm sunshine. All was simply sublime!
The old oak tree looked up to the sky with a smile
and thanked God for giving them all another chance.
Everything was wonderful and good! Knock on wood!
The Phrase/Theme Multi-Challenge
The PHRASES for this challenge are as follows:
'the still waters of life'
'tempered by time'
'courage to live'
The THEME for the challenge is RENEWAL
© 2012 Adele Kaye
(All rights reserved)