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When Giants Fall

No longer shade along the path but an obstruction they take others with them.

Walking the trail along the Natchez Trace that I frequent, yesterday I met this uninvited scene numerous times. Causing me to scramble both over and around, the trail was much more difficult to traverse.

And it got me to thinking, when giants fall.

Nurtured in the forest floor they started out small protected by surroundings. And with the right nurturing and time had grown into giants. Just as they grew to be giants, so there were forces at work to compromise even them. Having offered shade, allowing only dappled sunlight to filter through for years, suddenly many along the trail fell in one night of severe straight line winds.

More damage was sustained along the ridge line that up the slopes. Those more exposed caught the brunt of the winds. Loosened from their footings by the erosion of the rainy season, it was harder to hold on. This undermining had softened their grip, such that in the time of stress they toppled. And I observed the fallen ones had spread footings lacking a solid deep taproot.

A solemn reminder, one day seemingly so strong the next fallen. But even more poignant: in their falling they now obstructed the path over which they had previously offered shade and respite from the heat and in falling had dragged others down with them.

Better it would be to die standing in place, our core still firm. Having served, to display even in retiring from the active scene a backbone evident to all.

Nature has a way of teaching spiritual truths, when we observe!

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