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By Joseph Dempsey mysterious

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen."     — Hebrews 11:1

In my way of thinking, this verse is prima facie evidence that a mysterious order is running in the background for all of us. My Presbyterian friends are nodding their heads in total agreement. This phenomenon manifests its being to us in serendipity, untimely deaths, delightful discoveries, spilled milk, found money, occasional observation of the burning bush, and experiences yet to be defined.

How else can the appearance of the image above be explained? I stumbled across this scene on Tamo River Road north of Tamo, Arkansas, and just south of the Arkansas River levee. I was in search of some cypress trees.

Apparently the mysterious order programmed my visual appetite to be satisfied only by cypress trees the afternoon of July 20, 2008. (It was jerking my chain.) The area around Tamo, Moscow, and Linwood is rife with healthy scoaches of cypress. Problem is, the thick undergrowth makes it difficult to bring the lens to bear in a meaningful way.

I rounded a curve and came upon Nicholson Cemetery. "Eureka," I thought.

There should be a break here in the undergrowth. Perhaps I can convert cypress to pixels. All the while I was exploring, the mysterious order was priming the pump for a discovery. "Walk to the edge of the bayou," it commanded.

So I walked. The edge of the bayou was a disappointment. "But wait, there's more," the mysterious order chimed. "Look around, turkey," it added.

Following this divine leadership, I scanned the real estate and saw a bunch of plastic flowers resting against a cypress knee. Now folks, it ain't just every day that you happen across a bunch of plastic flowers nuzzled up to a cypress knee. Studying the scene, I wondered how in the tunket did those flowers arrive here? And why?

When you consider exactly where the flowers were, and consider the meteorological behavior patterns of the area, the mystery begins to unravel. Tamo Road generally runs north and south. The cemetery is on the east side of the road. Flat, fertile delta soil just about as far as the eye can see stretches out from the west side of the road. The weather in this area comes almost always from the west.

The mysterious order explained it this way. A caring family member placed these flowers on the grave of a loved one. Later on, under cover of darkness, one of the fabled Delta thunderstorms, heading in from the west, built up a mighty head of steam as it careened across the farm. With the grave in its crosshairs, it scooped up the polyethylene bouquet and plopped it squarely against the cypress knee.

The flowers have faded somewhat, but being plastic, they are not going away for a while. The cypress knee, the mysterious order explained, is a more appropriate memorial to the yet unknown decedent. Who am I to challenge the power of the mysterious order? I also marvel that in its infinite wisdom, it has apparently placed a lofty stamp of approval on plastic flowers. Else why would it do this?

Chapter Two

After a good snooze the night of July 20, and a morning infusion of espresso, the mysterious order let me know that he (or she) was not through with me. "Go back," it commanded. "You did not get all of the lessons I prepared for you." Being an obedient servant, I elected not to fight these instructions.

tombstone Upon arrival, I noticed
the Williams family plot. I had callously overlooked it the day before. I found a row of small tombstones in front of some larger ones in the back. Several single stones and one double stone. I could partially read the inscriptions on three of the stones, one of which you see to the right. The inscriptions revealed that the summer of 1900 was not good for the Williams family. On July 5, July 15, and August 18, 1900, Williams children died. I could not read the rest of the smaller stones, but one must presume that they were also marking the graves of children. And we think we have problems?

I can only presume we were being told that on the surface, not everything can be satisfactorily explained. So why go through the frustrating exercise of attempting to divine an explanation that is not going to happen. And further, that there are some cool things going on of which we are not aware. One day ahead, we may become aware of these occurrences. And we may not. It depends on how the mysterious order's big toe feels. And, more importantly, on how well our receptors are functioning.

N O T E S:  
Nikon D200 hand held / Tamron SP f2.8 28mm-105mm LD /
Post processed in Photoshop CS3 Extended and Genuine Fractals Print Pro.

Click the jump wings
to see the previous Photo of the Week. . . .

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