26 October 2006
I recently stumbled across a very interesting website. For someone who loves history (especially Virginia history), and the wonders and beauty of Creation, this site is particularly fascinating. Virginia Tech has embarked (no pun intended) upon a very worthy project - discovering the most "remarkable trees" in Virginia. With 7 categories ranging from "historic" to "old" to "unique", citizens are invited to nominate their choice for VT's "Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project." (Hurry, deadline is October 31st!) Yesterday, I nominated two. (One is pictured above left). This is Stonewall Jackson's "prayer oak" and is located about 30 minutes North of my home near Grottoes, Virginia. Tradition has it that Jackson "stopped each morning after breakfast at a nearby house to pray under this oak tree while his army was encamped nearby in June of 1862." One of what is known as The Civil War Witness Trees, this old oak provided shade as Jackson petitioned God for victory over the "yankee invaders." The other tree I nominated is the giant ancient oak that looks over those who rest in the Jackson Memorial Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia. Jackson's statue guards those who have slept in this old cemetery since the 1700's. Jackson’s silent watch is aided by the land he loved, as he wrote his wife: “Here the mountains keep watch and guard around the home and the tombs of those who were dearest to me on earth.” Beneath the canopy of ancient oaks, in the centuries-old Lexington cemetery, these dead in Christ patiently await the resurrection.
(You can actually purchase the offspring of some of these living timepieces here.)