Last year, nearly each day that I walked my dog on this beautiful pathway in our neighborhood, I was struck by this one distinguishing pine tree. Its trunk was at least three feet in diameter. Its branches were dark and old. There are no more leaves or bark on its appendages. Yet it stood. beautiful. Commanding. Dead.
Why are we so put off by death? The above picture is a view of the pathway where I found the tree. It is from the deck of the house. I do not have a picture of the beautiful dead tree because I made point to never take my phone/camera with me while walking in nature. I love to be present, still. But for a moment, image all of these green trees, then one great, huge, tall, black, dead tree. It is captivating. It is awe-inspiring. Does it mean something.
Maybe it means a couple of things: first of all, life is fleeting. every single tree in the forest today will die at some point. Every single one. We, too, are fleeting. We will all die–at lest these physical shells we call bodies–and we will be on to a different type of beauty. Take a good look at this picture. At one point it was covered in lava. This was a bursting volcano. It is hard to believe, isn’t it. Our minds can be so small and limited.
The truth is that all things are beautiful…because all things reflect a greater power at work keeping the cycle of life going. Even death is beautiful because it brings with it the contrast of new life–and sometimes it is the death itself that brings the new life.