Happy New Year to Everyone…may it sparkle with the miracle of peace all over the world.
We’ve snuggled back into life at Searsport Shores. It was a wonderful vacation full of family, friends, great food and a heart filled with memories but I am admittedly very happy to be home once again. And I have a story to share:
Why There are Evergreens
When the Great Mystery was creating all the trees and plants he wanted to give a gift to each of them. But he could not decide which gift was appropriate to which tree, and so he held a contest to find out. He told the young trees that he wanted them to all keep watch over the earth for seven days and seven nights.
The trees were very excited to be given such an important task and for the first night they had no difficulty in staying awake. But on the second night it was harder, and some of them fell asleep. By the third night even more were unable to remain awake, even though they whispered to themselves for hours. On the fourth night even more fell asleep.
Finally, by the seventh night, only a handful were still awake: the pine, the cedar, the spruce, the fir, the holly and the laurel. “What great endurance you all have!” cried the Great Mystery. “To you I shall give the gist of remaining green forever. You shall guard the forest even in the dead of Winter when all your brothers and sisters are sleeping.” Ever since then the rest of the trees lose their leaves in Winter and sleep until the Spring; but the evergreen trees are always awake, and always watching.
John Matthews wrote this story as part of the chapter describing Day 10 of the twelve days of Christmas. If you’d like
to look for the book because it’s worth every moment of your time, it’s The Winter Solstice: Sacred Traditions of Christmas. The hardback copy has a cover illustration of The Green Man…as old as time itself, he brings gifts at Winter Solstice, when the sun begins again to strengthen in the sky. An embodiment of the life force of green and growing things, he is celebrated in carvings in medieval churches all over Europe as a symbol of emergence from the death of Winter into the new life of Spring…if you’ve been to Searsport Shores, you might remember that my mother and I hung a carving of the Green Man high in an Oak Tree as you walk down the the beach from the ocean tent parking area.