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Christ & the post oak.
.. the thinking meandering spaces will produce.
❤️.. from a new, gigantic Notebook1
The first oak tree I had ever seen beyond my own backyard was in College Station, TX, while attending the University there at 18. I took note of them because they had the same leaves & bark as the trees I climbed back home. But they were small. The local mall was also named after them — Post Oak Mall.
What is a post oak? I wondered. Oh, it’s a tree. These are post oaks. They are called post oaks. It is a post oak tree.
I didn’t think any more deeply about the name, and I can’t be sure I would have discovered anything deeper had I been guaranteed a conversation about it with someone. Post oaks weren’t relevant to me & I had no context. I can’t be sure anyone at the time would’ve had any, either.
Nothing has particularly changed since then. If I were to have a conversation with my husband about post oaks, for example, he wouldn’t understand their significance. I’d have to describe & relate every bit of thinking to him as I do to you now, all the present-day context brought forward through a conversation I’ve had with myself.. perhaps with God.. perhaps with a little deeper light to See a shade differently. Perhaps.
Post oaks. You’ll laugh when I explain it as I laugh now. Perhaps.
Post oaks are smallish oaks, smaller than the ancient, meandering-canopied oaks you’ll find on grande estates or old, public spaces in downtown Austin, like, say, The Capitol. Post oaks a fraction of the Great Oaks Stephen F. Austin, William Travis, or Sam Houston would have seen. Their branches will never grow & lazily lull along the ground. Their boughs will never creep low enough to let toddlers scramble up on their own or ask a tired yardman if he needs a place to lay upon. Post oaks will be forever hard climbers, standing always cold & indifferent to the elements around them. They serve a very different utilitarian purpose — post oaks are for fence posts.
Their trunks are short & stocky, rising about 10 to 12 feet from the ground. They’re made to be stricken down & sacrificed for grander purposes — to fence in livestock, corral horses or even children, or to neatly divide the expanse between neighbors of great acreage or estate. Their existence encourages the respect of roaming spaces & wide meadows as they contemplate majestic skies. You hear the wind when you see them, these post oaks.
When I observed one of these little trees in the native town of my first observance this past weekend, I wondered — What if these little Post Oaks could have been created for another purpose?
Perhaps in Jerusalem, the Post Oak has a cousin that also rises from the ground only 10-12 feet. Perhaps this cousin was bred by the Romans to be cut down & purposefully used for fencing, too. Perhaps for corralling, bordering, and for crucifying criminals, like our own Criminal of Love.
They would have said
>Yes, use this one, not that one.. He is of 6 feet, not the 5. Idiot! You cut against the grain, get a new one. That One will do nicely. Perfect.
Somewhere out there, along the spectrum of Time, a Tree was harvested for the express purposes of Our Lord & for Our Salvation.
In my little town, were I first met Post Oak, he’s now used as ornamentals, to fill in what builders have destroyed as civilization expands. Post Oak is as common as concrete sidewalks, everyone has one on their front lawns. Only God in His Wisdom knew the same would be done through the Cross of Christ — May His Cross lay claim to the great expanse of our souls.
In Spiritu Tuo, ad gloriam Patris. 11.13.2023, St. Frances X. Cabrini