Choked Oak

For a very long time, the sight of this Oak tree draped sadness over my heart. Later, anger for the person(s) that long ago forgot the heavy chain wrapped around its trunk. The tree was a solid anchor for the chain length stretched across the driveway, keeping unwelcome trespassers from easy access to the fertile hunting land. Nailed midway up into the tree’s trunk, a sign hung with the words, “KEEP OUT”. The unforgiving rusty chain had tightened around the majestic Oak’s trunk. So merciless was its choke-hold that the chain, barely visible in some areas, had become embedded in the bark. I imagined a slow painful torture, the chain and tree no longer separated from each other. How like life, I thought. We all have things we can’t free ourselves from but they don’t have to keep us from growing.

I knew the reality of the situation. No longer could the Oak tree free itself from the embedded chain. Doing so would kill the tree. The bark is what transports the water and nutrients through the tree. If the circumference of the tree trunk is bare of its bark, the tree dies, unable to transport nutrients and pass water through the wounded area.

When a growing tree encounters something in its way, the tree has two choices. Grow away or grow around. There may be a slowing but there is no stopping a growing tree. The choked Oak is a testament to that. In time, the Oak will entirely consume the chain, a graceful melding of acceptance over restriction. Hidden beneath the bark, the Oak’s unseen wound will give no indication that there was ever anything that tried to stop it from reaching its full potential

People put their own mental and emotional chains across the paths to their unlimited potential, anchored deep in the unforgiving restrictions of a closed mind or closed heart. Simply choose a direction to grow and you will create an opening for the mind and heart to expand. Don’t let a chain of regret choke your dreams.

Author: sweetwisdoms

Angeline Haen was raised on a small dairy farm in Sobieski, Wisconsin, where the love of the earth and all things of nature collected in her heart. She and her husband, Andy, steward a forty-five acre hobby farm and tend to the needs of two teenagers, four beehives, a 110 pound yellow lab named Wally, two and a half horses, flower beds, berry patches and gardens. Her first book, Sweet Wisdoms, was released by Shanti Arts Publishing in February 2017. In 2015 two of her poems were published in the Wicwas publication entitled Safe To Chew. When she’s not writing, you can find her sharing some lov'n from her oven, driving a school bus or watching grass grow.

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