Several days ago a tornado hit my small hometown, Pontotoc, in Northeast Mississippi. Fortunately, no lives were lost, and the structural damage was minimal. However, I didn’t realize what a danger zone my family’s home was in, until my husband and I took a walk around the property yesterday while in town. The largest casualty of the storm was a massive 300 year old pecan tree that fell in our neighbor’s yard near our property line. It literally missed their storage house by inches and our house by 30 feet. The storm then didn’t stop until it uprooted several other stately trees in the neighborhood. After surveying the damage and watching the arduous tasks of the clean up crews, I felt very blessed that there were no fatalities. This reminds me that God always has a protection plan when we are faced with the “storms” of life. He is steadfast and faithful before, during, and after a storm. Furthermore, He fully understands our pain and sorrow as we confront these storms and their after effects.
Here are a few images left from the tornado last week:
Several huge cedar trees fell victim to the storm in another neighbor’s yard. The cedar is a gorgeous by product of the storm!
But after the devastation left by the storm, we are blessed with God’s redeeming gifts of nature. Spring is on its way..
Fortunately, my very favorite tree, a Bodock tree, sustained no damage. This tree is at least 200 years old, and has been a favorite “photo opp” for two generations of family photographs as well as a favorite childhood playground. The bodock tree is more commonly referred to as Osage Orange. When French explorers came to our country, they found these trees growing in Mississippi as well as parts of Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. They coined the name, Bodock, which means bois d’arc or “wood of the bow”. The Osage Indians used the wood for making bows, war club, and hatchets. Other popular names for the bodock tree are horse apple and hedge apple because of its chartreuse grapefruit sized fruit. The fruit, abundant in late summer and early fall, is appealing in arrangements. The trees are so legendary in our town of Pontotoc that a yearly Bodock Festival is held in August.
Our neighbor, Jean Peeples, has created a serene sitting area by the bodock tree that lies between our houses.
“When the wind blows hard on a tree, the roots stretch and grow the stronger. Let it be so with us. Let us not be weaklings, yielding to every wind that blows, but strong in spirit to resist.” Amy Carmichael