Once Upon A Time

Posted on January 20, 2021 by shackelford under Uncategorized
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Once upon a time, there was a magical land, a place so beautiful and so filled with peace that it had managed to banish all the evil of this world from its borders.  But one day a terrible storm rose up from the south; in anger it moved across the land, destroying everything in its path with the wind it had summoned from the storms of the oceans—winds that would not yield to the peace and the beauty that had vanquished all other enemies.

When the terrible storm had passed there was much work to be done. The magical land was crying out for help, the path into its forests blocked by the giant trees that had fallen in battle with the winds.  A band of woodsmen, armed with the tools of their trade, arrived and began working in earnest, clearing a path so the people of the forest could seek shelter away from the ravages of the storm.  One chose a large tree that was blocking their safe passage, and began the exhausting work of cutting through its massive trunk.  And as he reached the last few inches of this mighty giant, in one last act of rebellion, it broke in two.  The four foot stump was pull upright by the roots that had once anchored it—back into the crater it had left when it gave way to the winds.  The earth shook . . . the woodsmen quickly moved away . . . and the stump settled into place as though it had never moved.

The great storm had come in the fall of the year and throughout the winter and into the spring, everyone worked to remove as much of the storm’s damage as they could, and although the land had begun to heal, it still bore the scars of that terrible day.  One morning, as the guardian of the land made her way through the greening woods, her eyes were drawn to that stump.  The stump that had lost the glory of its magnificent, leafy crown . . . the stump that could no longer offer shade and protection and a home for Nature’s creatures . . . had a small branch growing from its barren trunk.  That branch continued to grow throughout the spring and the summer, and as the days grew shorter and the nights grew colder, it remained green with life.  Only when the last days of autumn gave way to the darkness of winter did the green turn to a vibrant red—but even then the leaves did not fall.

This tree, from all appearances, was damaged beyond any ability to survive.  And yet it did.  There are many of us right now who feel overwhelmed by the winds that are swirling around us.  Those winds have brought every negative emotion known to man . . . and Death.  So. Much. Death.  But as Nature, in her infinite mercy, has given her subjects the ability to survive the unsurvivable, so we as human beings have been given a strength we often do not know we possess.  Sometimes Life forces us to start over, whether from the loss of someone we love deeply or the destruction of something we hold dear.  And we must begin again.  That doesn’t mean we are attempting to replace whatever it is that has been lost.  Only that we must, of necessity, create something new.



About the author:  Lisa Shackelford Thomas is a fourth generation member of a family that’s been in funeral service since 1926.  She has been employed at Shackelford Funeral Directors in Savannah, Tennessee for over 40 years and currently serves as the manager there.  Any opinions expressed here are hers and hers alone, and may or may not reflect the opinions of other Shackelford family members or staff.




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