The tree survived and it still stands today. Yes, 350 years later, that tree stands in McBaine, Missouri in Boone County right outside of Columbia. People come from all over to see and touch it. They feel like they are stepping back in time and touching a piece of history. Some people bring a picnic basket to eat under the tree. Romantics propose under the tree. Many photographers have tried to capture the essence of the tree with their lens. And others just come to the tree to seek solitude and silence. The tree is truly a piece of history.
Today I got to pay my respects to the Big Bur Oak. I'm in Columbia visiting my parents and the bridge is out near their house so we took the long way home via the Bur Oak. I haven't seen it in a few years and it was a nice, clear day for a country drive. So off we went and there it was, towering 90 feet in the air just as I left it years ago. But you know, I think it grows in size and majesty each time I see it (or maybe as I get older I learn to appreciate beauty, nature and God's handiwork more and more).
As you enter the weekend, open your eyes a little wider. Make space to take a country drive and take the long way home. Go and touch a piece of history--an old barn, a one-room school house, a historic home in town or find the oldest book in the public library--do something out of the ordinary.
Enjoy and marvel at nature, beauty and God's handiwork.
There is beauty around you. Don't be too busy not to notice it. Here and now is the time for gratitude.