Ode To The Oak
Once upon a gravel road, now paved
prevails the symbol of Nelson strength;
Of love, courage, and hope engraved
upon the lives of the county’s length.
We acorns, to the wind, were tossed
as you stood guard upon the hill.
Some returned, some remain lost.
Still, alone you await in the field.
You stood for independence and rights
long before the declaration had been signed.
You flourished and soared to great heights
as your world and people redesigned.
Your mighty limbs sway with wind,
soaking tears of rain and warmth of sun,
and pull back into a prayerful bend
when the moon says the day is done.
In Celtic myth you are a tree of doors,
a gateway between another time or place.
To Soldiers returning from various wars
you were the salutation of a warm embrace.
In times that we could only frown,
you served as our Gilead’s balm.
You let us lay our burdens down
and returned us to the calm.
You’ve held our secrets and our dreams
in the heart of your hollowed soul.
Humble grandeur which one esteems
radiates from that verdant knoll.
The one far too young to say good bye
is in repose beneath the earthen floor.
Gazing upon a bright star filled sky,
he rests and dreams for evermore.
Seasons will invariably change
as the years continue to march on.
People and scenery will rearrange,
and life as it is will one day be gone.
For now you stand tall, broad, and strong.
You remain our tree of ageless grace.
What you symbolize is for what we long
with your timeless mark upon our place.
The Oak tree at Oak Ridge has been an icon for generations of Nelsonians. This majestic tree is the spirit of it’s people. It is an epitome of their strength and endurance. We have looked at this tree for hope, independence, and the possibility of all that life has to offer.
I don’t know the story of the Oak tree from the beginning of it’s time. I do know that in 1979, the Forestry division did an increment bore which determined the tree to be half hollow and well over 225 years old. That puts it well over 256 years. It is massive, gnarly, and stately.
If you grew up in Nelson County, you most likely have a story about this tree. This mighty Oak may have inspired you. You might have skipped school and swung by there or partied there one night. You might have made out, made up, or broke up beneath the cover of those monumental limbs. This tree might have been privy to the secrets you shared or the dreams you dared to dream. If only this tree could tell us the story of all it’s children, the stories that you and I lived beneath it’s watchful eyes and protective arms.
Though this sits on the private property of a grand estate, it stands alone and welcomes all who pass by. Owners past and present have shared this treasure with us. When we see the tree, we know we are home. This tree ties me to all I’ve ever been, reminds me of who I am now, and encourages me to be all that I can. The saying is that you can take a girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl…I rectify that to you can take a girl out of the county (Nelson) but you can’t take the county out of the girl.
This is an entry for One Shot Wednesday.