Against All Odds… LIFE! Hope is my Anchor!

The Magical Tree of Life-Kalaloch Beach- Washington

Dear Reader:

Only root tendrils anchor this Sitka Spruce ( largest spruce)… an historical treasure to ground. The majority of the root is exposed and sprawling over the existing void.

Still it manages to not only live but thrive …though it’s life supply ( soil) has been removed by, ironically, life itself… in the form of storms and erosion.

The sheer existence of this tree goes against the rules of science and biology… making it hard …not to believe in magic.

Visitors return annually to check on it and many break out in squeals of joy and happy tears when they see it again… still alive and persevering against all odds- one couple has returned seventeen times… the tree has become their emotional anchor of hope for the upcoming year because it appears that HOPE is the only ANCHOR preventing the ” magical tree” from falling!

Over the years I have watched so many botanical ” resurrections” take place and learned that “dead” looking plants can return miraculously the next spring… just wait… time and life are partners in renewal.

Take my Confederate Rose… when it was at the ” height” of its life… ( 20 feet and still growing) beautiful blooms of white, pink, and burgundy formed a backdrop and framework for the side of my garage.

Strollers would stop and comment on its beauty as spotted at the end of the street… and I was so proud. Then suddenly one day- it was over!!! Apparently it got too top heavy and fell completely over… pulling up the roots with it. We tried re-rooting and replanting but it was gone…

Or was it? The next year one teeny tiny stem that resembled the Confederate Rose… peeked through the pine straw. I cleaned out the area and put a buffer around it so it would not get accidentally mowed down.

Three years passed and the stem grew taller but still miniature in comparison to its once stature of grandeur. And yesterday I saw two buds slowly opening… one white and one pink.

The legend came flashing back… the Confederate soldier who fell on a white bloom mortally wounded-over a two day period the white turned pink with blood and finally a dark burgundy… the soldier had died. By early last evening all three blooms were visible… and hope was alive again.

So until tomorrow… Give life a chance … never give up… and look for the beauty waiting just around the next bloom!

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

Keep Hope Alive!!!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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