About me

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Marked by a tree

It was not uncommon here some time ago for people to mark a grave with a plant of some kind. Perhaps a tree. The tree in this picture has been there a while, along with the small stone marker now encased in growing trunk. I suspect someone spoke of the Cedars of Lebanon when this tree was planted ages ago.

My grandmother marked the grave of her child with a magnolia tree and a white carved stone. The death of this child was what Grandmother used to turn my papa from moonshine to the Primitive Baptist pulpit. That, and her iron frying pan and wooden rolling pin. I later found the marker with a lamb on top in the barn behind the house. The molding stone had been removed and retired as the tree grew.

That tree was a landmark in the community when Young Langdon cut it down. A man with a chain saw does not need intelligence to make a mark on this world.

The white stone lamb with Loa inscribed and barely legible has returned. I do not know who did that. The house and barn were long sold out of the family when that tree came down. Familial greed and ignorance can also make a mark on this world.

I like to think the afterlife was better when plants and trees marked marked our final testing places, the roots stretching down to lift us up by branch and leaf, no metal and cement box to stand in the way.

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