Thursday, February 15, 2007


Did you ever walk through the woods, especially near where there was once an old homestead and see a smile on an old oak tree?

A tree, especially an oak (any variety), has a strong will to live. It can it smile in the face of pain and live to be over 200 years old. It will always have that scar, but it remembers the pain no more.

Many years ago, some farmer decided he would clear-cut an area for planting. So, he notched the trees intending to come back later to fell them with another deep cut in the opposite direction. For some reason, the farmer decided not to cut, or over looked, this particular tree and let it stand. Over time the mighty oak grew and put bark further and further out into the cut. Until all that was left is this smile to remain us that we too can overcome great adversity.

I found this one on the UT Arboretum property during a walk this week. It is a nice place for a quiet walk, and if you forget the name of a tree (like the Chinese Fir pictured), no problem – they are labeled.

Regretfully, the great American Chestnuts were not as robust – only their stumps remain. The Chestnut blight wiped them all away by 1950.

Stand strong, face what live sends your way, and strive to live on like the mighty oak. Show the world your smile!


jan said...

The yard where I grew up had a massive oak tree. One year it got hit by lightning. while we were deciding whether to cut it down, it started healing itself. In three years there was no sign of damage. Amazing creations.

BRUNO said...

You know Mushy, I never thought of it like that before! Sort of a "victory-smile", I guess! Think I'll take a stroll in my own woodslot, see if I have any "smiling tenants"! But I think I'll wait 'till the temps get back up to freezing, first!

Alex said...

The ladies call me the mighty oak. Well, normally I have to pay them to say that, but at least they do say it!

mary said...

Another charming post with a message. I love tree's the woods and forest in general are of great comfort to me. An old Druid probably lies in my soul somewhere.

If you've never been to this site Mushy:

Check it out when you have some time..really special.

Take care..

Mushy said...

Absolutely beautiful Mary!

L said...

wow. too bad people can't do that :)

Fathairybastard said...

Very nice sentiment. Old trees can be so cool. The idea of all the history they've seen, always fascinates me.

Jess said...

Very nice story. I don't know what it is... but, there's just something about trees.

Debbie said...

We live on 6 lots here by the Tennessee River. we are surrounded by huge old trees that are beautiful in the Spring as they leaf out.

They are gorgeous in the Summer when they are green and make wonderful shade.

In the Fall the colors are like a painting. Of course I have to spend every day blowing and raking the leaves after they fall.

In the Winter they make great black and white photos. The best picture I ever made was laying down on the ground, looking straight up through the branches to the sun filtering through. It was beautiful.

It they can survive the pileated woodpeckers and all other varieties of woodpeckers we have here, they are pretty strong.

Thanks for the pictures.

(What, you didn't want to post the chastity belt???) heheheh

Right Truth

Jose said...

Here's mine:

Marie said...

I think it's frowning, actually.

Miss Trashahassee said...


Mushy said...

I does appear to be frowning, but they labeled it "smiling!"