Tree Stump Musings

What does it do to you, if anything, when you suddenly realize the ground you’re standing on — is the very spot where your ancestors carried on life over a hundred – eighty years ago?

The stump below reveals a tree that was a sapling when my Great, Great Grandfather used the path and the pond right beside it to export island timber- logs transformed into usable lumber by a mill upstream; Wood for ship’s repair, bridge construction, erecting a barn or a home.

Ground view of old Spruce tree stump

It caught my breath, counting 155, 156, 157 … and coming to the realization this tree was alive when George Jordan senior traversed on this very path. I stayed crouched for too long, pondering the life history of this stump: a seedling must have been released in the fire of 1852 and survived the great fire of 1864. This tree survived five generations of human impact before it was felled for, what looks like, thinning or possibly clearing out storm damage.

I tried to feel the grip of a life forged in the upland woods – complete with tragedies foreign to our era but were bitter realities then. What I didn’t anticipate was the rising tide of kinship swelling within my soul. All the feelings of solidarity with my ancient family washed over me like the ocean waves crashing against the rocky shore a short distance away. I didn’t know what to do, kneeling there silently bonded to this remnant of the past.

Then I noticed a new sapling just a few steps away….

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