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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Remembering a Childhood Tree

By Gary Miller


It seems strange that one of my most vivid memories from my childhood was planting a tree. I don’t remember much about it other than my father bringing me this little sprout of a mimosa tree and showing me where I could dig a hole and put it in the ground. I was very proud of the fact that that tree grew into a fine adult worthy of my play time. I also remember the weeping willow that shadowed my house and all of the times it offered one of its tiny limbs to my parents to be used as a switch. That same tree held my swing in my early years. On down in the yard was a maple. This was my favorite tree to climb. The smooth bark and multiple limbs made for an easy ascend to the top. The apple tree was old and decrepit. Its trunk had a huge hole in it that produced rich potting soil for the plants in my house and yard. Its apples were sweet and good even though I never remember it ever producing a bumper crop. There were other trees that grew in the swampy part of my yard, and these served as cover for me when I wanted to hide my treasure from my mother’s all-seeing eye. It seems trees were a part of most of our childhood. They were like good dogs. No matter what kind of mood we were in, they were still available and ready for whatever we had in mind. It didn’t matter if we carved our initials in them; they carried each one as a proud tattoo of the one they loved. And what child is it that doesn’t want a tree house? A place they can call their own; where they can decorate and be alone and invite friends over and rise above the difficulties below.


I pity the person who only sees creation as the product of chance – that by some unique moment in time, matter came together in a way that produced what we enjoy now. These same individuals are forced by their theory to look at their own lives as meaningless. If they are correct, human life has no more value than any other product of evolution. We too are simply a result of chance. I choose to believe God made those trees for me. He did not create them because He needed something else to do and this seemed like a good idea. He created them so that I might get another mental picture of the nature of the One who can make something from nothing. And what those trees told me was that God would be everything I would ever need. He would comfort me, provide for me, protect me, and hold me no matter when or how I came to Him. And He will do the same for you.

Gary Miller has written Outdoor Truths articles for 21 years. He has also written five books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations. Miller can be reached via email at


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