Are you good timber?

I look out on this oak tree to write most of my posts when I am not at the beach. This is my dressing room view. I have a small simple desk to write at and look out at its majesty. I sit here sometimes just watching the tree for ages in awe of this patriach of the woodlands.

This oak tree is very old and has lasted many winds, winters, floods and droughts. It reminds me of a poem by Douglas Malloch called ‘Good Timber’. I have pasted it below for you to enjoy.

The poem explores themes of struggle, fulfilment, and of course nature. Those of us who live on with “broken branches” and “scarred” will become “Good timber.” I turn to this poem often when I meet a struggle.

Whether people praise you or criticise you, you must accept it gracefully. You and this oak grow, survive and thrive because of the conditions it experiences not in spite of it. Because of the conditions… not in spite of them.

Good Timber by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

Published by NCS

reader of great literature, teller of tales, photographer of mostly awful snaps but on occasion I am half decent.

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