Messages From The Chalkboard....

March 3, 2012


When The Farmer was a recently returned missionary, his father invited him on a trip
to the Fresnal Ranch, which had recently sustained some damage from a big wind storm that
had passed through.  The Fresnal Ranch isn't easy to reach...a rough 2 1/2 hour drive....and to
save time The Farmer's Dad, who was a pilot, would fly his small plane to the ranch. This particular
day, as he was preparing to land on a near by dry lake bed, he flew by the damaged area.  He
had just finished building some new corrals shaded beautifully by some very large Cottonwood trees,
and had chosen that location specifically for the shade given by those trees.  Working cattle is much
more enjoyable with a little shade....rather than the very hot sun.  As he flew over, it was very
obvious that not only had several of the very large Cottonwood trees been blown over...but they had
fallen onto the newly built corrals, causing significant damage that would
 require a great deal of work to repair. 
A bit discouraged with the amount of damage they found...they landed the plane...made
their way to the fallen trees, broken corrals and began to asses the damage.  The trees which had
fallen were extremely large and had spent their lives growing along the edge
 of a swampy area, whose water was supplied by an Artesian Spring...
where the trees had easy access to water...anytime they needed it, or wanted it.  The Farmer and his
father stood together for a couple of quiet minutes...and then his father made an observation....
"these trees are just like people," he said...."those that have fallen had very shallow roots", which were
visible to the eye.  The trees were very large...and beautiful...but without a root system that could
support them during a terrible wind storm.  A little distance from the fallen trees, were very large
Cottonwood trees that stood in tact, unaffected by the wind that had blown through.  "These trees did
not have access to the easy water, they had to work hard for the water they got, reaching and
 stretching their roots to find the water that they needed.  As they reached, their roots grew deep and
strong and became the support needed to hold them in place when the wind blew hard."
"They are just like people..." he said...."just like people."

Good Timber

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

It is a lesson that The Farmer has not forgotten.  It is a lesson that he has passed on to
The Darlings.  This past week, it was a lesson that needed to be re-taught in our home....
So after a heartfelt visit with a certain "Darling"....The Farmer went to the chalkboard.
The chalkboard...not only teaches The Darlings....but it teaches everyone else that comes
to our home too!  I love to watch The Darlings and The Cousins...stand in front of the
chalkboard....studying The Farmer's latest creation!


BAS said...

Very cool. Can I send my kids to live with you?

Bonnie said...

I told this story to my Seminary kids yesterday when we were studying Job. I hope it.s OK with you? It was very effective and they loved it. I actually showed a picture of your chalkboard drawing.

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