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The Old Oak
by Bill Childers

Growing up seems so painful these days, with entanglements always near, whether invited or not.  I have always wondered if someone besides the good Lord could have begun some "sure thing" that would have made less troublesome steps and efforts, and a few more pluses in life.

I've just about concluded that the answer is no... maybe with a capital N!  I really had begun to realize that many years ago and have just been piddling, to kinda make certain that my conclusion is valid.  I think my dad could have, would have told me (actually, I think he did) that you get what you got and you've got what you get.  In other words, our labor is our reward (if you need one) and our reward is our labor.

Love is its own reward.  It's quite difficult to love and not get back in one form or another... maybe we don't always want it back in the same form we gave.  I have come to think that the love returned is closer to the source because it grows and compounds the majesty and the value of it!

So, what is this introduction all about?  We'll, it's like this... the following poem is probably as close as I'll ever come to saying what love is, unless I say that God has given the Best, beyond a doubt, in the form of His risen Son.  Here is "The Old Oak", and it's about the same love, just passed through a wonderful family.

 

The Old Oak


Everybody came to wash clothes,
And talk the latest news.
It was a soft, comfortable place...
The ground felt good without shoes.

The old well had always been there,
Nobody thought about how long.
The water was for drinking,
The cool shade for thinking...
While the wind whistled a song.

That was over a hundred years or more ago,
The well's filled in, and dry.
When we came in forty-seven,
It was a lot like Heaven...
That 'old oak' filling the sky!

We had a passel of chickens and rabbits,
Don't know how we got so many.
We had bunches all around,
And coops all over the ground...
Couldn't seem to get rid of any.

The 'old oak' seemed to make things right,
With shade and coolness aplenty.
We hung a swing from its branch,
Climbing it took many a chance...
But its majesty was more than splendid!

We built a patio under the halo of shade,
My dad, my brother and I.
We found concrete and brick
We knew would do the trick...
We made a table for chicken and pie.

My dad built a shop where chickens had been,
They and the rabbits slowly disappeared.
He hung a speaker on the wall,
Giving music for our ball...
There was no crashing, or beer.

We had many-a family gatherings there,
Often a quiet time for thoughts.
Many babies were swung,
Many songs were sung...
The magic could not be bought!

The 'old oak' watched many babies grow-up,
Watched many-a man go to war...
Come home to make a life,
Experience joys and strife...
And get up to live 'til there's more.

The 'old oak' saw generations come and go,
Children, grandchildren, and more.
Even with all these years,
Joys, sadness and tears...
God alone knows the fates in store.

Mother and daddy are gone from here now,
The see 'the oak' from a better view.
They're above its branches,
No more fears and chances...
Nor wondering what a lifetime will do.

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