We often picture our family tree, alone
upon a hilltop,
Strong and symmetrical against the azure sky.
Beautiful to behold in all its glory,
A perfect picture of our family, on that we may rely.
But what does it tell us? What do we see?
A tree providing shelter and shade,
A pretty picture, beautiful and stately,
A creation, an artwork, which surely God made.
To know this tree we must draw near,
To climb in its limbs, each branch to scrutinize.
We study each joining of trunk and divergence of bough
Each twig and each leaf is new to our eyes.
It is not as perfect as at distance we thought.
Little symmetry is found from this perspective.
Some limbs are long while others so short.
Others are straight and some quite defective.
Straight and solid some have been formed.
The rain of love and prosperity giving it strength.
Health and happiness make them solid and straight
Friendships and faith add to their length.
Others are short, some very crooked
And here and there some broken and bent.
By lifeís storms they have been twisted
By the wind distorted, gnarled they are rent.
Shortened by early death were some,
Limbs injured in discord, some in divorce.
Stunted by adversity and illness, are some.
Others bent, withstanding lifeís force.
In truth our tree stands not solitary,
Each marriage or adoption arrives not alone.
But with a graft of limbs from a new tree,
Bigger or smaller than this, our own.
are part of a forest, not alone on a hill
In that forest we are gathered in strength.
Protected from great storms all around,
Sharing strength and security others have lent.
Each part of the tree has its place in this plan
Some may grow tall, reaching high for the sky
Its leaves to catch the rays of the sun
To nourish the limbs nestled nearby.
Support for the nests of the birds and the
all have our purpose in this our world,
There are many branches spreading aside.
And then there are low limbs solid and true
Providing support where a childís swing does abide.
All part of this tree, or part of another.
No branch can survive without the other,
Each depends for his life on his brother
So take your place in your tree of destiny,
Deal with the capricious weather of life,
The best you can is all that is asked.
Faith in God will keep you from strife.
granted talents and abilities most unique,
To each limb and twig a purpose is granted.
Each serves to build ... and to grow,
That great beautiful tree that Godís love has Planted
And each tree in turn gives strength to the forest
A family of trees united in love,
All living together for one single purpose
To give glory and thanks to their Creator above.
© Grandpa Don Plefka
Orland Park, Il
February 17, 2009