Old Men With Bent Shoulders
After the storm, wet heavy snow held tightly to each tree branch turning Eighty Acres into a forest of old men with bent shoulders. As I snowshoed the trails, I would shake the trees bent shoulders, sending the heavy snow tumbling to the ground. With the weight of the snow gone, the trees would awaken from their slumber and slowly raise their heads to greet me.
My walk was slow as I found myself crawling over fallen trees and side stepping leaning limbs. The weight of the wet snow and high winds snapped limbs and brought dozens of gnarled old trees crashing down. But the Earth Mother has a plan for the loss of these trees. Next spring, warm sunshine and rains will now reach the forest floor. Seeds that have been dormant and patiently waiting, will germinate, becoming the next generation of trees. They will sprout, grow and claim their own unique place on the land. The trees will grow tall, straight, strong, fearless in the face of storms, never believing or understanding that someday, they too will grow old and return to the land. As for me, if by chance you happen to meet me as an old man with bent shoulders and head bowed, please don't leave. Just tap my shoulder. I promise, just as the bent trees did, I'll raise my eyes, smile, and be most thankful for your time.