“For these islands in the seas standing in the seasons of the earth –
the willow and the oak no longer have their leaves rustled by the wind,
no longer have their energy to grow,
keep their life force as sufficient to last until a fresh beginning.
The willow and the oak are each known as trees of benefit to man,
each has had ascendancy within the allotted time,
each has occupied with honour the place in which it has been placed,
each is handled as its nature so requires,
each is confirmed in its usage as applied.
The willow rockets quickly upwards while the oak plods slowly on to finally surpass the height the rocket so readily achieved,
to leave no trace of an existence except for later generations –
each shining and to just as quickly fade.
The oak has its eyes set on the centuries,
has the strength and the resilience,
melds in with its surroundings,
is happy in a forest,
is delighted to stand alone,
is seen as the sentinel over all in which it thrives.
The willow and the oak do not compete for territory,
do not attempt to overcome the other,
do not succeed in vying for the dominant attention of man.
The willow and the oak are at peace in their surroundings,
do not exert a stranglehold to the detriment of the other,
do neither attempt to conquer nor subdue,
do neither expel nor use the threat of thorns.
The willow and the oak both welcome the activities of man,
contribute as they may,
have no regrets in service,
linger as long as they are able.
The willow and the oak are at home with man.
The willow and the oak are cared for and appraised,
are sought out and selected,
are planted and awaited.
The willow and the oak know their mix of qualities,
know their capabilities,
know their histories of success,
know their cause of failure.
The willow and the oak are not competitors in service,
are not concerned with rectitude in their behaviour,
are not concerned with the vitality of man.
The willow and the oak have differing objectives,
measure the passing of the years by ways of contribution,
make the best of where they have been locked in place,
attempt to overcome the greatest of the storms of life.
The willow and the oak are both credits to their statures,
are both credits to attaining their fullness of potential,
are both at ease as each destiny approaches.
The willow and the oak do not know the seeds of jealousy,
do not compete in shadowing,
do not attempt to be what they are not.
The willow and the oak are confident of their own success,
know the paths of reproduction,
know the needs of life,
know the signs when something is not quite as it should be,
know when something is missing from the mix,
know when there is a call to heal that which has been damaged –
by an intruder in the living space or by the weight of worries.
The willow and the oak are specimens within the arboretums of God,
are statements of the care of God in planning for the needs of man,
are accepted by the birds in sheltering,
are accepted by all who thrive within the confines of their influence.
The willow and the oak testify with their presence and their beauty,
with their vibrancy and patterning,
with their appearance in the seasons,
with their signatures recorded in the life-stream of man.
The willow and the oak are welcome members of the genus in which they are at home,
of where they lie within the oversight of God.”