Bear Witness

One day as I was driving, my route was on the original Trail of Tears. As I witnessed all the beautiful fall colors and life as I know it happening all around me, a deep sadness came over me.

I wondered how many of these glorious, brilliant trees had embraced the Native Americans as they were driven from the only land and homes they’d ever known all those years ago?

A friend told me she had visited the Redwood Forest and was struck by the 1,000 year old trees that had weathered wars and fires – standing through the worst of times and the best of times – witnessing the stark comparison of the evils of mankind and the goodness of mankind – yet still they continued to embrace and be a part of the whole.

As I passed people mowing their yards, the cable guys installing internet access, the traffic light stuck in a weird pattern, and all the dizzying activity on a late weekday afternoon, I embraced for a brief moment the sadness of a culture lost.

Then I saw light stream down casting it’s ethereal glow on this ancient forest of days gone by and breathed a prayer of thankfulmess that I get the opportunity to participate in this beautiful messy thing we call life.

How many more trails will be blazed as we enter a new decade? Will they perpetuate and celebrate life or will they perhaps be laid bare to future generations of a culture ravished by itself? What will they say about us when it’s their turn to bear witness to what we’ve left behind?

What do you think?