On my walks down our road I always pass the same old tree. Half of it's trunk is missing at the ground. It looks like it might have been hit by lightning at one time. You can see the inside of the tree. Half of the trunk is gone on the road side and yet it is still standing and growing. Every year we wait for this old druid to fall. But still it stands in our tenth year of living here. After each storm in winter we expect to find it lying across the road. Other oaks fall; smaller ones, taller ones, younger and stronger trees that seem to give up and surrender to the rain and strong wind. But this one, that looks so fragile and old, remains.
Today I took it's picture. I was careful not to show the missing part of the trunk. I took the shot standing as close as I could to the tree. I had to be careful because it's on a very sharp drop off next to the road and so I leaned on the tree to support myself. I said aloud "Don't let go old lady." I'm not sure whether I was talking to myself or the tree. I looked up into the still dormant branches. The sky was very blue with light wispy clouds in it and I thought that this must be why the old tree was still standing. It was holding onto the sky. Invisible threads of silk (maybe from the oak worms) had attached themselves to the universe and now the old tree was being supported from above, not below. Maybe this is why belief in something beyond this world becomes so important as we get old and maybe if we believe strongly enough magic threads will attach themselves to us and give us support in our old age. We'll , I like to think so, anyway.