A Message of Hope
After our friend’s memorial service last week, my husband and I went to the mountains for a few days. I have always found solace in nature, and this trip provided even more peace and healing than usual, because as we walked the various trails in the Mt. Hood forest, I began to notice that much of the new growth was emerging from fallen trees and decaying logs.
I pulled the cell phone out of my backpack and started taking photos – mostly to reassure myself about the cycle of life. Over the course of several days, Alex and I were both on the lookout for new life coming out of something that had once lived and now appeared to be dead.
We both took dozens of photos. Most of them didn’t convey the contrast I was hoping to capture, and then one afternoon as we were walking around Trillium Lake, a peaceful little reservoir with a magnificent view of Mt. Hood, I saw a tangle of green leaves growing out of a huge, decaying stump about twenty feet from the path. I gingerly made my way through the undergrowth and snapped this photo.
When I looked at the screen on my phone, I was startled by the image that appeared on the tree next to the stump.
I know how trees decay and provide a fertile environment for new life. I also know that a narrow beam of light and the shadows it cast against the rough bark produced the image of the smiling face. I understand and accept the logical explanations, and at the same time I choose to believe and accept this experience as evidence of life after death.