Once upon a time a man had an inspiration. He would build a home for his family in a little pine thicket where calamity could not find them.
And so he bravely blazed a trail through the lovely woods…..
….where at path’s end he would lay a cornerstone upon deep bedrock.
Daily he walked this small piece of earth feeling the acceptance of the trees. In return for his love they offered shelter. Refuge.
As the house took shape, the forest embraced the man and through every window whispered a promise to his family: We will be your peace.
And then the unthinkable happened. The calamity from which the man had hidden found him and paid a furious visit. The Gentle Wood resisted this unwelcome guest but the swirling disaster proved too great. The pines crashed to the ground with great regret. We are sorry we weren’t stronger.
The man and his family grieved. The green was gone. Refuge had given way to vulnerability. They were now exposed. Unsafe.
A few lone sentinels remained on the other side of the glass in honor of those too aged to bend. A remnant.
Gone was the shelter. The man’s peace was stolen…or so it was believed.
As the man worked to restore the much greater loss of those around him, purpose replaced self-pity. Pain loosened its choking grip. Though justified, his disappointment kneeled at the feet of perspective. It bowed upon hallowed ground.
The man surveyed his own home place, searching for new covering. It was not to be found. Rather, his awareness was drawn downward. Underneath. To the foundation.
The foundation had saved his family’s life.
Though invisible, unbending. Though unlovely, stable. Because the wise man chose well his building place, when the winds came and blew and beat against his house, it proved steadfast. Though trees swayed, though the earth gave way, the cornerstone remained. The family found refuge until the calamity was overpast. Not in the trees, but in the Rock.
Though saved, this season of unnatural disaster threatened a cruel epoch for the man. Time, however, came to his defense and did not stand still nor give destruction rule. Time destroyed evil’s intent by doing nothing more than what it knows best – it passed.
And days grew brighter.
They are bright.
It is with joy the man treasures his fruitful vine, his olive shoots. With deep respect he regards the remnant whose budding branches embrace the return of the singing ones. It is with hope the man repairs, rebuilds, and places new growth into his beloved ground. It is in faith he finds true refuge in Who lies beneath.
And it is in this manner the man and his family continue to dwell.
Happily, safely, ever after.
In honor of those lives lost and changed forever on April 27, 2011 and in deep gratitude to those thousands who have come and continue to come to the rescue.