Totem Bight

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (KJV)

The profound moments in my life occur unexpectedly. Such was my experience at a place called Totem Bight in Ketchikan, Alaska. A bight refers to a bend in the coastline which forms an open bay. The park ranger lead our tour through the forest to the open bay area. Numerous totem poles and a replica tribal potlatch house stood in the clearing. The tour was interesting but hardly one of those flashes revealing some deeper meaning of life.

Our group wound its way back through the forest, the smell of moss and decaying vegetation hung heavy in the air. "This forest is dying," the ranger explained. "There is nothing we can do to save it."

I looked around at the trees, there was no sign of disease. The forest, mostly of evergreens, appeared to have thrived for hundreds of years. They stood tall, straight and strong, their branches reaching skyward.

My attention returned to the ranger as he continued his Explanation.

"Last year a severe wind storm hit this area. Several of the trees along the outer perimeter toppled. This entire forest is supported by only a few inches of soil on solid rock. Those few inches of soil are the result of thousands of years of rotting vegetation.

"The roots can't go down deep enough to support a tree. These trees are able to stand because their roots intertwine. When the trees along the perimeter fell, it weakened the entire system. More trees will fall until the entire forest is gone." I stood staring at those beautiful trees. Where I previously saw only life, now death filled the scene before me.

"There is good news in all of this," the ranger continued.

"These trees will provide a rich soil base for a new and stronger forest in the future."

There it was, a moment, a glimpse into some deeper meaning for our lives. Like that forest we are all interconnected in a community of mankind. Allowing even one of our members to fall weakens the entire community. Failing to care for and support each other, could ultimately result in our own destruction.

That day, I vowed to help and support those in my life community. Striving so my existence provides fertile ground to promote strength and growth to the next generation. Roots that might seep deeper because I have gone before. Totem Bight, a simple bend in the coastline forming an Open bay. God uses His creation to speak to hearts that will listen

Eunice Loecher 2001

Eunice Loecher lives in Woodruff, Wisconsin. Her husband died in 1998. She is the full time caregiver for her two grandchildren and her eight-nine year old mother. Eunice enjoys writing and celebrating the gifts the Lord brings into her life each day. Her stories currently appear in volumes one and two of God Allows U-Turns.

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