An Ode to the Trees of Sioux Falls — Icepocalypse

Photo Credit: Melissa Soe
Photo Credit: Melissa Soe

You did nothing wrong.

Your beauty shone every season, every day.

But now Sioux Falls sings a mourning song,

While everywhere, your branches lay.



This holocaust brought by nasty spring weather,

Is unusual for our state, to be sure.

You’ve withstood all seasons to measure,

And until now you could endure.


Photo Credit: Melissa Soe
Photo Credit: Melissa Soe

My cry goes out on your behalf,

Father, what has been done to your creation!?

Ice and wind and snow all laugh;

In their wake lies such destruction.


I remember you all standing so strong,

A pinnacle of beauty in this city.

I am still baffled at what went wrong–

The Icepocalypse has brought such pity.


For the trees, we cry for a moment of silence;

A moment to remember what has been.

During the breathmark we shake at the violence,

And then, like Midwesterners, we lift our chin.

Photo Credit: Melissa Soe
Photo Credit: Melissa Soe
Photo Credit: Melissa Soe
Photo Credit: Melissa Soe







Written 4-11-13, Anna Olson

Note: Sioux Falls, SD has been in a state of emergency declared by the city since Wednesday, and Sioux Falls Schools have been closed since then (which is a rarity for them).  Power outages have been crazy, with some not receiving power until…well, they are supposed to get power back tomorrow sometime.  For more information, ask somebody living in Sioux Falls because Midwesterners love to talk about the weather or check out (news).

“Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks!”

I can’t even describe it.  My physical struggles this morning help me understand others.  I am home at the moment, spending the last few weeks here until I go back to school.  Today, I volunteered myself to pick up branches and sticks before mowing the lawn today.  We have a pretty big front lawn, and eight trees live there.  Little did I know exactly how much the two storms we had this week blew down.  I’m only half done now, and I’m going back out there in a bit.  I’m not sure if it’s wise to be going back out there, as the MS is being really stupid this morning, but I do believe I am.

Walking was tough going.  But crawling was so much easier.  The ground always welcomed me.  Even when I had intended to stay standing and pick up a few sticks, the ground drew me to it.  I crawled around, gathering sticks until my hands were full.  Then, I had to get back up.  Each time I attempted rising, I had to pause.  This was usually the point when I would say a little prayer.  Sometimes it took two or three attempts to rise up once again.  Other times, I would be almost up and I’d fall back down to the ground.  Still other times, I’d crawl back to the ranger (where I would deposit the sticks), that I could hang on to it and use it to help me up.  This didn’t always work.  Eventually, I would get up, go and cast the sticks into the back of the ranger, and then turn around to see where others were.  I started looking for areas where there were many sticks in one general area that I wouldn’t have to get up right away.  Yeah, after falling and struggling to get back up, I did the same thing.  Over and over again.

It’s difficult sometimes to stay walking upright and obeying God when falling into sin and staying down is so much easier.  Sin always welcomes us to it, and we find ourselves falling when we don’t mean to.  But God uses each valley we go through, each fall we encounter, to teach us.  Work is being done by us and in us for the Lord even when we don’t realize it.  The sticks and branches are everywhere, and it seems like there are always more to pick up.  But we keep picking them up.  Eventually, they’ll all be picked up and the lawn, branchless and home of the many trees that were the culprits of the hassle, will be mowed.  The trees are beautiful in themselves, and they’ve been a part of the lawn ever since I can remember.  Storms come in our lives and blow things everywhere, but the sun comes back!  Sometimes, we are helping to pick up the sticks left from somebody else’s storm, and God uses us that way.  (I am just full of analogies today.  But don’t worry, I’m done.)  God works in ways I’ll never understand, and my struggles this morning got me thinking about it.  But to describe it simply can’t be done.  So I’ll rest in the Lord and trust him through it all.  He gives me strength to make it through struggles.  Even if it’s not physical, I trust what he’s doing!

Smiling despite circumstances, Anna =)^2