Tree Vignettes (#2)

I was looking for small trees to craft into timepieces.  Near the bottom of a steep slope I came across a giant hollow log.  Over the many years I have spent roaming forests I have seen very few legacy logs like this.  It is a rare occurrence to find standing trees in this size/age class, and downed wood of this character and age is exceptional.  Based on the ages of nearby trees, this great grandfather of a tree had lived for several centuries and required more than a century to decompose into its current form.   As the seconds ticked around my watch, I pondered different ways to look at the display of time:  The nanoseconds that it takes for light to reach me from the far end of the log; the subtle change in position of the minute hand as the moments slip away; the hundreds of years it required for a tree to grow to this size; and the centuries more it will take for it to fully decompose.  Empty spaces and fragile wood have replaced what was once marked by hundreds of distinct solid annual growth rings.  The detailed stories from those rings have disappeared, but the tree’s lasting outer shell along with my imagination allows me to visualize some of the stories from its ancient life.

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