In an old photo of the Lodge of the Carpenter under construction, two red oaks frame the east side of the front porch. The one that stood in front of the porch had special meaning to many retreatants over the years. It had a peculiar way of holding its dead leaves through the winter, so that it sang in the wind year round. It shaded the porch in the summer, and together with the breezes that always seem to blow off the fields, kept it comfortable on hot days.
Early this year arborists were trimming the trees over the Lodge and discovered that this oak had major rot where the trunk divided above the roof. This weakened it and made it vulnerable to snapping and falling on the Lodge, and we were advised to remove it as soon as possible. So, with sadness at losing this old companion which was well established when the Lodge was built in 1953, we had it removed in April. I know many of you will miss it, and wonder what happened to it.
We will soon be planting a tree which will eventually shade the porch as this one did, keeping future retreatants cool as they gaze out on the land and perhaps reflect, "It is good."