The Garden of Eden
by Amber Higgins
Once there was a garden where peace
and harmony prevailed.
The sweetest of scents filled the air
from fruit trees and bright beautiful flowers
that graced the landscape.
A great tree stood in the center
as the nourisher and healer of all life.
From the great tree’s base four great rivers flowed
out in each of the four directions
to spread the tree’s nourishment and medicinal
power to all the gardens of the world.
This great tree is known to all even though
the Tree’s great powers have long been forgotten.
The Great Tree
is remembered as the
“Tree of Life”
Trees remain a symbol in many cultures as the bearer of life’s fruit and labor.
The first great tree that stood in the center of the Garden of Eden was not an apple tree but a mighty Oak.
Ancient civilizations valued trees as sacred because they realized the importance of trees in our environment. Great trees were known as symbols of longevity, strength and fruitfulness. Trees represented the mysteries of change and endurance, the abundance and perfect beauty of nature.
The majestic Oak that grows so plentiful in certain areas of the country has long been known throughout history as a very sacred tree. The Oak has been considered as a doorway connecting the two parts of the year. The name Oak is derived from the Sanskrit word for door.
To Northern Europeans the Oak has been known as the Tree of Life sacred to the Thunder God Thor. The Oak was associated with the Greek God Zeus and his Roman counterpart Jupiter. Both symbolized by the thunderbolt.
The Oak’s widespread attachment with thunder Gods is probably due to the fact that Oaks are struck by lightening more then any other tree because many of them are hollow and hold water in their trunks.
As a medicinal herb Oaks have a long standing with many uses that are overlooked today but were often used in days gone by. The leaves and bark are rich in Tannin which is known to be an astringent and antiseptic.
Tannin was once recommended as a tonic for use after over exertion. Acorns are the fruit of the Oak and were a food source of Native Americans. Acorns were often used by earlier settlers as a coffee substitute.
The inner bark of the Black Oak can be used to obtain dyes of various colors including yellow to buff, gold, olive green and orange. The dyes can be used on wool, cotton, silk and wood floors or furniture.