We had been talking about icons, not the things on your desktop but pictures, slices of time, moments that invite you through the portal of time and space into eternity and infinity. An old apple tree planted in a hayfield now being encroached with pine saplings became my symbol for how all generations live off the life force and decay of the previous generation.
The old tree in its stage of disintegration, there were large planes where the bark has fallen off and rows of rectangles appeared, each with a deep hole drilled into the middle of it by maybe a woodpecker. Clumps of pales green lichen clung to the dead branches. Sections of exposed dry grey wood have pimply surfaces where tiny branches once grew.
As the eye follows the line of the trunk up there are holes burrowed in the trunk just the right size to give shelter to a small bird. This apple tree gives up its’ shape and substance to feed other creatures. Collapsing in on itself, an icon of how we build our life up from the carpet of rich nourishment of others who whether willing or not sacrificed and died before our time.
We live on what was built and left from the previous generations, their contribution and I am grateful for them.