i may be slightly obsessed with my new find in tallahassee...
the lichgate tree.
maybe only because i have lived here almost all of my life and i never knew this little gem existed.
maybe because it is absolutely breathtaking to walk on a little path and come out into a clearing and see this tree that was a sapling when shakespeare was penning his plays and poetry.
here is a little write up about the tree and the property...
Tucked away on three acres off High Road in the state’s capitol city is a fascinating property hidden from all traffic. A visitor walks down a wooded path and is greeted by a majestic live oak tree shading a soft lawn. This tree, a sapling in the time of Shakespeare, keeps company with something not seen in Florida, an English Tudor-style cottage, a cottage that looks as if it comes from the pages of a child’s book of fairy tales, with a steeply gabled roof, diamond-pattern leaded glass windows and stone foundation.
This is Lichgate.
Lichgate is the creation of a Tallahassee philanthropist, Dr. Laura Pauline Jepsen, a longtime professor of English at nearby Florida State University. Dr. Jepsen helped establish important groups in Tallahassee dedicated to preservation, education and the community welfare.
She envisioned and built an enchanting cottage and named it Lichgate to echo the idea of gates in a Medieval English church, gates that separated the world of the living from the world of the dead.
...But even more curious was the Lichgate, which eventually appeared at the entrance – the origin of the term – “Lich,” to a Scotsman and later to the Englishman is a corpse.
A Lichgate is the passageway between the church and the burial ground.
i have already "dropped by" there twice in the last week. and may have to take a picnic lunch out to eat under the tree one day soon when the weather is particularly lovely. i have prayers that i want to pray under that tree...
not because i think that tree has any magical power. not because i think God is any more there in that tree than anywhere else but because that tree reminds me of things about God.
that He endures. that He is magnificent. that He thought up something like this tree. and He hid in in the same town as me until last week. because i didn't need to know about the tree until now.
because i need to remember my life like that tree has to have one focus. in a wide circle under that tree is nothing but grass. no other trees can compete with it. its massive root structure needs the soil for its own growth. needs the space. needs the sunlight. no other trees. no competition can stand against it. or it wouldn't have been so magnificent. so all encompassing.
i also love the name... a place where the dead and the living are separated.
isaiah 61 :4
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
the word "oaks" in that verse is the word "lya" in the hebrew. it means "mighty" or "oak" or "door post". something strong that is unmovable... but the word origin is from "lwa" from an unused root meaning to twist, i.e. (by implication) be strong. it is also the word used for "ram" as in "sacrificial ram".
only when something has endured some twisting. some wind. some rainstorms. can it be strong. can it be a mighty oak. can it be a door post holding open a doorway that keeps death on one side. and life on the other. a sacrifice has to be made. a sacrifice was made.
like i said... "i may be slightly obsessed..."