Old Hemlock Log

I started out a seed,
Blown to the side of the hill,
I grew up straight and tall,
Reaching for the heavens.

Seasons came and seasons went…
I grew and grew to maturity,
Knowing that I was in a special place,
My roots ran deep into the loamy earth.

For many decades I got taller and stronger,
After some years my own seeds fell,
And new trees began to grow under me,
Under my watchful love and care.

Over time the nearby stream grew deeper,
And with its constant presence,
I reached lofty new heights,
Lived like I had never lived before.

This time was the greatest of my life,
The skies would change, grey then blue,
Snow would fall, then rain, then sun,
I saw colors never before seen.

But then the breeze began to blow,
And the very presence that gave me life,
That ever present stream that sustained me,
It also eroded my foundations.

And then came the fiercest wind,
Branches broke and fell,
And the gale continued on,
And then floodwaters came.

The wind and rain tore at me,
I weakened, then I toppled,
From my once lofty perch,
To the bottom of the hollow.

But in that lowest of low places,
Where it all began when I was but a seed,
There, the circle began anew.
I became a bridge, fallen over the stream.

Below me the stream still flows,
From somewhere above new seeds have fallen,
They sprouted on the dirt that used to be my bark,
New life is forming in the shelter of the old.

I have become a shadow of my former self,
But even in my fallen state,
Beauty and life are able to thrive,
New dreams are born where old are gone evermore.

Old Hemlock Log

James Wheeler

Halifax, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

I find inspiration in nature, and one summer visited a natural area an hour or so away from my home. The forest there is ‘virgin’ timber, never cut by man. The trees are hundreds of years old, and some, of course, have fallen. In places, these huge old logs have fallen across the stream at the base of the canyon, and if you look closely at them, you’ll see tiny trees growing on the bark of the fallen log.

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