THE LODGE-POLE PINE

There is an interesting tree in the Rocky mountain region which flourishes between the altitudes of seven to ten thousand feet. It is called the lodge-pole pine, because the Indians who formerly lived there used it as a pole for their wigwams. John Muir writes that "this wonderful lodge-pole bids fair to obtain possession of nearly all the forest ground in the West." This tree has a habit of hoarding its cones for many years. The seeds are carefully sealed by pitch and protected by the scales of the cones until a forest fire sweeps over the mountain-side, melts the pitch, unseals the scales, and the wind, a few hours after the fire, scatters the seeds over the barren waste. Soon the seeds germinate and the young trees commence the struggle for existence.

These trees and their habits have taught me many a valuable lesson. The hard struggle for a mere existence on a barren mountain-side; the hoarding of the seeds in the cones; the necessary liberation by fire; the abundant harvesting at the end,—all these conditions have pointed to the human life absorbed in its sharp conflict with the world, hoarding its treasures of thought and deed until some fiery test, perchance, sweeps over it, unseals its blessings and scatters them to germinate and bless humanity. Until Mrs. Eddy brought the truth as found in the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to this age, many of us were like the seed of the lodge-pole pine,—self-absorbed and barren of good works; but God has, through the teaching of Christian Science, opened the sealed lives and made us helpful to others.

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