Monday, July 1, 2013


A ten-minute walk from our house, on the edge of a college parking lot, grows one of the two largest white oaks in Connecticut. A stately, burled giant, it is likely around three hundred years old. I often take the children to visit the tree.

I write more about this tree in a recent essay in Adventum. I write about how the tree has become like a friend to us, one that we visit regularly, in every season. I write about how our first fall in Connecticut, nearly three years ago, we picked up one of the oak’s plentiful acorns and planted it in a pot at home. The acorn sprouted, and the following summer—two years ago—we planted the seedling in our yard.

This is the continuation of that story. Our oakling, progeny of a mighty tree, is flourishing. Its first year, the tree had six leaves. This year, it has thirty-four. Oaks are notoriously slow growers, and none of us will be here to witness the tree reach its full mature splendor—if, indeed, it ever does. But this is one of the joys of life we should teach our children—to hope for and anticipate a future that is not for us, but for others.

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