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The Colonnade

Our family snuck away for a couple days over to the Peninsula. What a treasure we are blessed with to have the Olympic National Park located only a ferry boat ride away. I have never spent much time in that part of the state and so we did the tourist type stuff. First, we went over to Cape Flattery and viewed the NW corner of our state and then took in a salmon feed during Makah days and went back to a beach and played in and around the Pacific Ocean. The next day we went to Rialto Beach in La Push. What a magnificent sight, there were these huge logs, roots and all, stacked willy-nilly everywhere, apparently deposited there by giant ocean tides. It is so much fun to hunt in the tide pools and look for those special rocks. The girls enjoyed finding those special rocks with different shapes and colors and the boys looking for round, flat, smooth ones to skip along the water or over the next breaking wave.

After lunch on the beach, we headed over to the Hoh Rain Forest. Inside the rain forest are these colonnades of trees. Apparently, because of all the rain and the temperate climate it is very difficult for any plant life to get established on the forest floor. So when a tree falls over new life begins to grow on top of the tree – a “nurse” tree. There are places in the forest where you can see where a nurse tree used to be laying down prostrate on the forest floor and now in its path are several towering trees or a “colonnade” of trees.

As I stood in awe of those trees and looked up and up, I realized that I was a product of human nurse trees – my parents and grandparents. And even more to the point, I was struck with the realization that I can provide a similar role like that of the nurse tree. But unlike the nurse tree that fell over and nature took over, I have to make a choice to keep growing for myself or get another generation started.

Unfortunately, as humans we get to choose and it is a difficult choice. The Bible reminds us that unless a seed dies it cannot germinate and bear fruit. And as I looked at my life and the nurse tree, I realized that, with the help of my wife, I wanted to leave a legacy—a colonnade—of children who are God-fearing, upright, who value life, and love all people. And one day when my great, great grandchildren look back they will find Tristan and Joelle at the beginning of several colonnades! But to get there so others can benefit requires a choice. Am I willing to decrease, so that my children can increase? I have discovered in this life that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and, maybe, my life could be more like a nurse tree than I realized.