The squirrel plays percussion with his raspy scolding
As the woods fills with music the finale’s unfolding
A thunderous applause from the balcony on high
Brings all to their feet flashes crossing the sky
The concert is over the conductor’s gone home
Performers take bows the music is gone
Painting: Dwight L. Roth
This is a painting and poem are from a few years ago. I wrote this as I sat under the trees listening to all that was going on above me. I love the idea of the birds and animals creating an orchestral piece brought on by the neighbors cat!
Back in the 1980s our family visited this old mill near Spring Hope, NC. Built along the Tar River, it was no longer in use, but remains a very stately building complex. For many years, it was the center of activity for the town. as farmers brought their grain to be ground. Now it sits idle and in recent years has begun deteriorate badly.
Grinding stones frozen in time
River never stops
Finding resistance in rocks
being shaped in riverbed
Mill remains still
Dying a peaceful death
in trees’ embrace
As we were leaving the ocean, returning to our car, I noticed this huge log lying next to the pathway. It appeared to be two feet in diameter. What caught my eye were the marks on the end of the log. It was not cut down by a chain saw, but rather one bite at a time with an ax! That would take a real man (a Paul Bunyan type) to chip away enough to take the tree down. It must have been a rewarding thing for him to see the top of that tree sway, and then come crashing to the ground. Thankfully, trees are one of our renewable resources.
Along the banks of the James River, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we found this giant oak tree, standing seventy or more feet tall. It was obvious that over the years flood waters washed against the roots exposing them to the elements. The roots adapted by covering themselves with bark. But even more importantly, they embedded themselves between the layers of uplifted rock. As a result of these muscular roots, the tree has withstood the ravages of nature and still stands today!
The Willow trees in our back yard were only saplings when we moved here nine years ago. They are extremely fast-growing trees which are now at least thirty feet tall. As I sat in their shade, I observed the wide splits in the bark. The old years growth sheds away as the tree expands. Eventually it falls away back into the soil. We are like trees. Those who grow the most continue to shed things they no longer need; negative attitudes, hurts, ideas, stereotypes, resentment, and bitterness, etc. Some are trapped in their own bark unwilling to let go and change for the better. How are you at shedding your bark?
Growth brings expansion
Stretching us //sometimes to our limit
Breaking us out of our comfort zone.
Growth causes cracks in our perception
Finding, perhaps there are other ways
Of thinking or feeling that may be different.
Growth brings change
Change is often painful
Forcing us to cast off old ways of thinking;
To have growth, we will have to change.
With change comes new strength;
New strength moves us beyond the present;
Fulfills our dreams for today…
Knowing tomorrow, we will again
Expand, stretch, and shed our bark.