Yesterday I stopped for a bit in the village of Basking Ridge. I went specifically to take pictures of the White Oak that has lived there for more than 600 years. Known as 'The Old Oak', this ancient tree has been growing and shading the sacred ground that is the Presbyterian Church graveyard for almost 300 years before the first person was buried there in 1733.
I have a fondness for old graveyards, and the Old Oak made my visit incredibly special. At lunchtime, I was the only living person there and the noise of traffic and the bustle of noontime activity in the village seemed distant, event though the church and cemetery are at a busy crossroad.
Standing next to it, this American native tree's trunk is more than 6' in diameter--its branches are supported by crutches and cables.
The raw power of the oak's presence combined with the remnants of 18th and 19th century lives lovingly carved into the headstones is hard to describe. For me, it was an emotionally charged experience full of reverence for nature and respect for those who had been.