|French Creek State Park|
|Trees are colorful in all their fall glory|
The winds whipped unexpectedly and a large tree crashed down and killed his two-year-old son in front of his eyes. I remember hearing that the devastated and mourning father cut down every tree on his lot to ensure that no such accident could ever happen again. I don't know if ultimately the young family moved from that property, which would surely be a daily reminder of the tragedy, but I could certainly understand if they did.
I think about this family I didn't personally know every once in awhile. None of us have any promise that life will be fair, but sometimes it's just hard to understand and the burden is too much for any of us to bear. The father who lost his young son to the fallen tree most likely still does not hold any fondness for trees. And who would blame him.
Not too long ago on a day hike I was telling a friend how I hiked in the Poconos last fall and a group of us had lingered near a waterfall. Finally we moved on, but not too far up the trail we stopped quickly, startled by a very loud noise. We turned to watch a huge tree falling through the other trees and drop to the ground with the loudest thud I ever heard in a forest.
|Roots from a fallen tree in the woods (not the one in the story above)|
|Does a fallen tree make a sound in the woods if no one is there to hear it?|
Well, soon after I told my friend about the experience the year before with the fallen tree, what do you think happened while we continued to hike? A tree fell! What are the chances? I was lucky again and we weren't in harm's way. But it just makes you think, doesn't it? It's just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And can you ever truly know when or where is the wrong place to be? No. You know the saying that hindsight is 20-20. In advance, you can only use common sense and make smart, informed decisions. Certainly don't take unnecessary risks and be the senseless person I know of who took his daughter camping the night of Hurricane Irene, when all news told us to stay protected in our basements as the high winds whipped and felled trees, creating havoc all around us.
Now, unbelievably and thankfully, no tree fell on that goofball and the daughter in his care that night. But yet, we know that even without hurricanes and major storms, trees, most probably bug-infested or with rotting roots, have fallen on unsuspecting campers in tents and killed them before they knew what hit them. What's fair about any of it? Nothing.
So, does any of this keep me from walking through the trees? No. When it's your time, it's your time. And there are way too many ways our lives can be claimed, so I don't want to hold myself in fear of any one possibility. I'll do my best to not take unnecessary risks, so I'm not willing to forgo my adventures in the forest as long as I am still in awe of its standing glory and the peace trees bring to my soul.
|This tree on the palace grounds in Honolulu|
looks like lace against the sky
|This tree on the palace grounds is big|
|Under the shade of a banyan tree on Waikiki Beach|
|Banyan tree in Hawaii. These are amazing|