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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rotten to the Core, Part One

A few weeks ago a big windstorm swept through our area. It inflicted quite a bit of damage blowing off shingles, knocking down hundreds of trees, and leaving debris scattered everywhere. Emergency crews worked through the night to ensure that as many roads as possible would be usable the next day. 

My wife and I own a home and property that has several beautiful trees. The trees were a big part of the reason we decided to purchase our home. We have several large oak trees, two of which are more than one hundred years old, and a two wonderful black walnut trees. The trees have appeared to be large and strong and able to withstand just about anything and we love them.

The night of the storm, right in the midst of it, we heard our car alarm sound. We looked out the window and used the remote to turn it off. I figured a branch had just blown into the car. We went back to what we were doing. When the winds subsided I went out to see if I could determine why the alarm when off. To my utter amazement one of our largest and most beautiful white oak trees had fallen on top of our carport which had collapsed on our car setting off the car alarm. Thankfully, and miraculously, our car sustained just a few scrapes but the carport will need to be rebuilt. We were in shock that such a large and seemingly strong tree would just fall over; it looked so healthy from the outside. I mean it had been there for over a hundred years!
We had a logger come and look at it the next afternoon to give us an idea of what it was going to take to remove the tree. During his inspection I asked him why he thought that it had fallen and he said that the trunk was rotten and had been for twenty years or more. Again we were shocked; the tree had appeared to be so healthy.

A day or two later my wife made a fascinating and shrewd observation: many marriages are like our once great white oak. While they appear healthy from the outside, full of life and vigor, they may be rotting from the inside out. Often the couple may not even realize that their marriage is weakening. Then one day, out of the blue, one of life’s storms hit their marriage and it just collapses. Everyone around them is shocked to watch the marriage suddenly fail. Children and others that relied on the protection of the tree, like our carport, are damaged, sometimes beyond repair.

We discussed her observation for a time and identified some ways to make sure that the “trunk” of our marriage stays strong and healthy. In my next post we’ll talk about some of these…

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