Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters

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Happy Birthday, Good Timber

It’s my husband’s 41st birthday today. When I think of him, my eyes well up with tears – the kind that say I love you, I love who you are, I love who you help me to be, and I am so thankful for you in my life.

I read this poem today (actually, I looked it up because of a very sweet note my boss left on my desk for me) and I immediately knew who it was about: Israel.

He didn’t want anything for his birthday, so I’ll keep it short. But here is this poem. I didn’t write it, though I sure am glad someone did, because I’m not sure I could have found words like these to accurately describe my best friend, partner and love.

I am so thankful for good, strong trees. For a good man. For good timber.


Good Timber

by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.



Love, Lou