A Cross Country Ski Trip

Skiing the Back 40 by Marj Hughes as told to Naomi Kelly 

Marg and her friends went on a ski trip a couple of weeks ago on the woodlot of an old farm. Marg has been reading the book A Soul’s Pilgrim by Christine Valters Paintner and she was inspired by the idea of visio divina -taking a quite meditative walk with your camera and letting the scenery pop out at you. 

The trees caught her attention, standing so still and beautiful against the winter snow. Many things passed by them, but they stood rooted and grounded in one spot. As the world passed by, they did not move, they did not have to move, because they received all they needed from where they stood. They offered strength in their constancy. 

The first treethat caught her attention looked like its bark was decorated with celtic knots. Such a beautiful woven pattern - how did the bark come to be like this? What must have happened to cause it? The tree continued its life, constant in its watch. 

The next treehad a large burl. “These tumors result from abnormal wood growth due to injury, infection or bud malformation.” (from Bark by Michale Wojtech)  So many times we try and get over trauma - when the trauma may be one of our teachers. It’s how we react to the traumas of life that make something a blessing or a burden. The tree took on this infestation and decided to make it a part of itself, and in doing that it continued to grow and thrive.

Another tree, at one time, had a bard wire fence nailed into it. Fence can kill a tree, but the tree just grew a protective bark around the wound and kept growing. There is a scar, but the growth continues.  We are thankful for the messages that are told in the trees. They are constant and stable, they keep growing, using what would wound them and turning it into life. When we walk with the eyes of our hearts open, we receive what we need so that we can be constant in our faith journey.