It’s Friday again, and time to write with that beautiful crowd of free-wheeling wordsmiths, the Five Minute Friday crew. We get a prompt from our fearless leader, http://www.lisajobaker.com, at midnight (for some of us. The rest wait until a more civilized hour the next morning.) and write for 5 minutes without over-thinking or editing. It’s scary but liberating at the same time. Want to play along? All the details are at the website. And away we go!
The tree is enormous. According to the guide it has stood for over 100 years in this plantation yard at Boone Hall, and to my sixteen year old eyes it looks like it. The branches bend low to sweep the ground, the bark is worn clean off in many spots, there are big holes where branches have been lost, and the shape of the tree is just…weird. I see other people posing in the tree, so I do it too, sitting on one of the low branches and asking my cousin to take my picture.
In a way I felt like I was touching history, although at that age the concept of a full century was vague at best. I wished that I could see pictures of the tree in an earlier era to see how it had changed as it grew. What had that tree seen? It had stood in that spot through rain, hail, hurricanes, and the merciless South Carolina summer sun. It had seen generations of families come and go, stood sentinel during the Civil War and saw slaves go free. And it stood firm.
Sixteen years later, I visit the tree again and again I take my picture sitting in the branches. This time I’m on my honeymoon and I see the tree through different eyes, because I, too, have weathered some storms over the years since I visited last. My scars may not be as visible as the bent limbs and missing bark of that majestic old tree but they’re there just the same. I can look back at my scars and see how I grew through the storms, how God used the hard times to shape me into the me I am today. And that makes the imperfections beautiful.
And now it’s your turn. Let’s see what you’ve got!