A comment exchange from a previous post got me thinking about an idea I first read in a book by Gordon MacDonald. I don’t remember the exact book and I really don’t even remember if it is, in fact, a quote by him. Nonetheless, the concept obviously stuck with me even if I don’t remember who actually said it.
A real man is, in many ways, a lot like an oak tree.
The wood of an oak tree is more dense than that of just about any other tree in the forest. This quality makes the oak tree one of the strongest and most hardy of all trees. Because oak wood is also high in tannin, it is extremely resistant to insect and fungus attacks as well. Without getting too deep into the science of tree hardiness, the gist of the matter is that oak trees are the mountain men of the tree world.
In its full glory, an oak tree is one of the most impressive looking trees in existence. It provides shade from the sun, shelter from storms, and it’s acorns are not only a great source of food for squirrels but they grow up to be mighty oak trees themselves.
The roots of an oak tree are extremely deep and extensive. A mature oak tree can draw up to 50 gallons of water per day out of the soil around it.
Because of the strength of its wood, the oak tree is one of the most useful types of timber known to man. Since the middle ages, people have been building impressive structures out of oak: palaces, naval ships, fine furniture, treasure chests… just to name a few.
However, despite the great strength of the oak tree and its hardy resistance to attacks from external pests, when an oak tree does fall, it is often sudden and without warning.