Near our home is an odd rock outcropping from which sprouts an old, dead Ponderosa Pine tree trunk. The trunk has been weathering away for many years, and the Lord only knows how many years ago that old tree first sprouted. There were most likely many tough years that challenged the tree’s survival, as this is country prone to drought and harsh weather. To make matters worse, our soil is very shallow and the tree essentially set root in solid sandstone! Oftentimes I’ve wondered about the things that sentinel has witnessed over the years, from the days when Indians hunted buffalo here on the bluffs, and while Texas steers grazed through these highlands of the Musselshell River Valley, and eventually the arrival of fences, tractors, roads and homes. Oh, the things that sentinel must have seen!
I photographed that old tree yesterday, knowing only the outline of the story that would accompany it; a story of the past, leading to the present, offering hope for the future. The more I studied that photo, it seemed to beg for a poem. Unfortunately, I am not a poet by any stretch of the imagination. A quick search engine query brought me to a poem on another blog, CHRISTian poetry. Deborah Ann Belka’s poem, ‘Oh, the things I’ve seen,’ was the perfect complement to the image, as is the Scripture she tied to the poem, from Isaiah 40:8 – “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”