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Archive for March 5th, 2011

Last week, we paid a visit to the Friendship Oak. This impressive tree can be found on the Gulf Coast Campus of the University of Southern Mississippi along highway 90 in Long Beach.
For more than 500 years, this Live Oak has withstood the elements, including many hurricanes with their fierce driving winds blowing salt water from the Gulf of Mexico just across the street.
Some of the limbs reach upward toward the sky while others simply look tired and weighed down touching the ground.
I can imagine people lounging under the tree, spreading out a blanket and taking a rest while looking up through the limbs and leaves to the sky.
Brides and grooms have chosen to have their wedding below these branches because of its beautiful setting and to symbolize how their relationship started and grew.
A platform was once built in among its branches as an outdoor classroom. It is difficult to understand how students could have kept their minds on their studies in this majestic place. The platform was washed away by one of the hurricanes and hasn’t been replaced.
When the tree suffers from disease or a twisted branch, arborists tend to its needs by trimming off the branches and applying ‘tree medicine’ to its wounds.
Only God knows how long this massive tree will stand.
On the way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the tree.
It began as an ordinary acorn the same size as others. Maybe it was planted by a squirrel for safe keeping. With time it sprouted, the trunk grew bigger, the roots deeper and branches reached out for more light.
Makes me compare the tree to my life.

Friendship Oak

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