The Gift

Sometimes when you are feeling very “full of your own power and worth” it helps to be reminded to be humble. If you think you’ve seen it all and know it all, consider the tree below. It might look like the shattered remnants of a tree, not very useful and certainly not pretty for landscaping. But remember that in life, all is not what it seems. Sometimes the most important things come in humble trappings.

The tree below is from Colonial Williamsburg. It is well over 250 years old. It witnessed the beginning of our country’s struggle to be free and shaded British and Colonial soldiers alike. It’s leaves blossomed over hostile residents of Williamsburg on their way to besiege the Governor’s Palace when his soldiers stole their gunpowder from the magazine. In fact, it witnessed the dark figures of those same soldiers stealing that powder in the early morning darkness, just hours earlier. This tree watched George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Peyton Randolph, and Patrick Henry walk by. Actually, “saw them” in the flesh.

So this strange-looking tree – missing most of its insides – is still here with us, nursed along by the Colonial Williamsburg staff. Strange-looking maybe, but it’s life history gives one pause. It has witnessed so much. A reminder that sometimes the overlooked broken silent things in the background just might have amazing stories if only they could talk, and carry a value beyond money.

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