Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Legendary Sacred Oak of Oley: The Real Giving Tree

We've just discovered that the Giving Tree is real, and it stands tall in Oley, PA. 
Follow the edge of the corn field until you spot the majestic tree. 
With riveting stories of the Lenape Indians' reverence for "The Sacred Oak," (currently estimated to be 500-700-years-old) and the powers they believed it to possess, we studied up on the tree's history and ventured out this weekend. 

Have a gander at the legendary story of the Lenape chief whose love was spared by the Great Spirit of the massive Chinkapin oak here. What an astounding tale!
People gather here,
marry here,
scatter the ashes of loved ones.

Talk about energy...

After a treasure hunt to find the location, we spotted the sprawling oak and our jaws dropped. 
It's that wow.

No photo could ever do it justice.

A plaque at the base claims that the 84-foot-tall tree is the largest yellow oak in the United States. 
And we believe it. 

Not only is this tree massive in size, but there is truly a hugely positive, welcome energy surrounding the site.
You can't resist the urge to caress the bark
to wrap your arms around the trunk (it took SIX of us, holding hands to make a ring around the base!)
to sit in the nooks formed by the roots.

And emotion intensifies as you notice the "gifts" left in the Sacred Oak's care.
Each item most certainly holds a story—holds heart.

Imagine the meaning behind the treasures propped at the base, hung from the bark, tucked into the roots and crevices—incredibly moving.

These trinkets remind us of how vulnerable and human we really are compared to this sturdy oak.
Whistle and feather hanging on the bark- and, on left, unique silver trinket laying on a knot
Now I'm not a super hokey person,
but something about this tree really got to me.

I connected

Mesmerized, I dreamed of visiting the tree alone sometime
on quiet and still afternoon.
I got lost in a reverie of curling up in a nook against the tree—with a pillow, blanket and sketchbook.

The idea is strangely alluring
strangely calming
strangely familiar
like there's incredible strength and safety there.

It's weird
but real
and awesome.

There is love in this tree.
Ballet shoe and stick sculptures
Wanna see for yourselves?

There is a sign stating that the path to the tree is open to the public only from dawn till dusk. This, most recent article, addresses the new landowner's plans for allowing future access to the great oak.

To keep up with the haps at this famed site, "like" the Sacred Oak community page here and be reminded of the magic that stands, deeply rooted down the cornfield's path. 
How many "heads up" pennies can you find embedded in the trunk?
Go there.
You'll feel it, too.

But be sure to behave when you visit...
Legend states that anyone who desecrates this site will be forever cursed. 
Don't mess with The Great Spirit of the Sacred Oak.

This might be my new favorite place on the planet, so treat it with the utmost respect.
Here's to the mighty tree...

P.S. If you're as captivated by these stories as we are, check out these local Sacred Oak articles from Oct 2, 1927 and March 1, 1952.

This article has more information about the Sacred Oak's history and future in Oley.

Or backtrack to the previous landowner's efforts to preserve this magical tree by reading this beautiful story about The Sacred Oak's allure.

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