Black Oak Tree: Kentucky Folk Tune, played by David Christensen on carillon at UC Riverside
Your prickly waxy green leaves shiny gray-green,
Your forked gray-brown branches stretched out wide,
Your mighty trunk planted firm in the ground,
Where dry leaves make a lovely crunching sound.
Safe harbor to whoever comes inside
To eat, to roost, to play or sleep unseen.
Adapted to the climate of the Bay,
Through winter rain and summer fog and drought,
In Autumn plump brown-capped acorns abound,
Daily deer and turkeys come around,
While on the ground, brown towhees hop about
And baby squirrels on your branches play.
The Coast Live Oak, symbol of Nature's way,
Iconic tree of our beloved Bay.
You always had a smile for them,
Up to the last day,
You were always thinking of others:
Taking gifts, caring for the ill.
Helping newcomers, befriending the lonely,
You gave of yourself.
As we reap, so shall we sow,
Or so they say.
But did anyone really thank you?
Did you realize how many lives you touched?
Were you ever beset with doubt, or felt
That you had not been recognized?
Or was it enough for you to give?
The goodwill you showed
To so many,
The seeds of kindness you sowed,
May you now reap in kind,
Some day-- soon
You may be.
Sow and Reap
Johnny Appleseed walked all around
Planting apple saplings in the ground.
To the early settlers gave away
Apple seeds to plant along their way.
Sowing seeds of generosity
For America's posterity.
May we too sow seeds of love and care,
Spread their loving message everywhere.
Watch them as they send up shoots bright green,
Grow and in the ground take root unseen,
So that others might also feel the need
To sow seeds in the name of Johnny Appleseed.
I show goodwill, just because. I do not seek thanks, I do not ask for reward. I show unconditional love, just because. However, I'll always accept a treat!
If interaction is to be positive,
Don't overwhelm, persuade,
Talk less and listen more,
Empathize, don't antagonize,
Whisper don't shout,
Help rather than harm,
Be neither arrogant nor servile,
And tranquil rather than agitated.
You will then be heeded and valued!
What more do you want?
It Follows as the Night the Day
Love and you will be loved,
Despise and you will be despised;
Denigrate and you will be denigrated,
Appreciate and you will be appreciated;
Befriend and you will be befriended,
Alienate and you will be alienated;
Abuse and you will be abused,
Respect and you will be respected;
Honor and you will be honored,
Deceive and you will be deceived.
The equation is rarely flawed,
The choice is yours to make!
Where there's generosity,
There is always gratitude.
Where there's gratitude,
There is too good will,
Where there is good will,
There is always kindness.
Where there is some kindness,
It follows ever as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be hated by anyone!
Where there's clear deception,
There is disappointment,
Where there's disappointment,
There is growing anger,
Where there's livid anger,
There is violence,
Where there's violence,
There is copious deception.
It follows ever as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be loved by anyone!
These paths are there and for your choosing,
Reflect on them and bon voyage!
No wrong once done can be undone! Remorse, penance and efforts to amend would follow. Never again! If so, the anger of the wronged may or will abate. To expect forgiveness is to expect an unmerited reward. A wrong that leads to a reward invites repetition. Wrongs and their forgiveness twice reward the sinner. The unfortunate cycle is likely to repeat itself. A mea culpa, individual or collective, expecting forgiveness is a tainted confession. It undoes nothing! No wrong once done can be undone! We cannot and should not forget, nor do we have the moral obligation or moral right to forgive. Not forgiveness, but acceptance should follow, due remorse and due amendment: acceptance of the changed!
What did you make of yourself?
What did you do for society?
What will you bequest posterity?
Short Snippets of Wisdom:
Every oak begins life as an acorn.
To reap, you must first sow.
Smiles beget smiles.
Oblivion is worse than criticism.
Expectation is fruitful burden.
Good deeds are good seeds.
No good deed goes unrewarded.
Kindness fosters, hostility sunders.