This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Oak Tree: Strength in Roots

The Oak Tree

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
until the Oak was tired and stark.

But still the Oak Tree held its ground
while other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"

The Oak Tree said, I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see
they are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew.

by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.


Also, here are some great comments on this, borrowed from other bloggers:

Did anyone notice in the poem that the wind became weary?

How does wind become weary?!!

I find it fascinating that the beginning sentence is about the oak tree holding its groundHolding our ground can be excruciatingly painful at times. Especially when you feel alone in your stance. But surely, there is truth to the statement “the weary wind.” Perhaps our persistence and our stronghold endurance help the wind to eventually weary and lose its grip on us.

We may wonder sometimes if the wind will let up. We wonder if we are doing the right thing. And most painful can be not knowing if we will be standing when it is through. And yet, something deep within me tells me there is a true principle to this statement. Through it all the oak is still standing. The wind is weary. The wind has exhausted all its creativity in knocking this oak over. The oak is using one formula: Stand.

I picture the wind as a person looking all frazzled, tongue sticking out from thirst, Face red from blowing, shoulders hunched staring at the oak with desperation saying unbelievably, “How can you still be standing Oak?” Seriously!!!

The poem doesn't talk about how long the wind blew. But it does describe it was so powerful to steal every leaf away. And most importantly, in the end, the oak was still standing. Broken limbs, snapped boughs, stolen leaves and all.

One of my favorite quotes by Thomas Jefferson states:

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Whatever your stance may be. As long as we feel the guiding hand of our Heavenly Father, stand, endure and eventually the wind will become weary.

-by Mamma Mia


After reading the poem "The Oak Tree" I immediately thought of an article by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin entitled "Deep Roots".  In the article he talks about a time when he and his wife were visiting one of the islands in Hawaii.  While there they passed two very large trees that had been uprooted and blown over by strong winds.  He said that as he looked at those trees he wondered if they might have survived the winds and storms if their roots had been deeper. 

I loved his comparison of the beautiful palm trees and the might oak trees.  Palm trees are beautiful to look at, but when the strong winds come along these trees are easily swayed and if the wind is strong enough, they can be easily uprooted and blown over.  In contrast, the mighty oak tree, no matter how severe the storm and how strong the wind, the oak tree will continue to stand tall - branches may break and the tree may be stripped of it's leaves, but through it all it will continue to stand tall.   

He also pointed out an interesting fact, of which I was unaware, that the roots of an oak tree can extend down into the ground up to two and one-half times their height.  Now that, my friends, is a deeply rooted tree.

Now the question for each of us is - how deeply rooted are your values?   Do you let yourself be blown to-and-fro with what is popular at the time?  Or do you stand for what you believe in?  I think that what we stand for defines who we truly are. 

- by Lil' Acorn


See also:

The Strength of the Willow Tree
Good Timber
The Butterfly: Strength Through Adversity
Adversity Quotes


Biodun Awosusi said...

Great poem on the oak.

L.M. Burns said...

I love this.

egb said...

Could I ask you where you found that image of the oak? Thanks!

The Youngs said...

The image was found through a search on google images. Sorry, I don't have a website address.

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