The Sentinel

by Melissa Taft

by Rodney Marsh

“Whenever we come to an end of something, including life itself, we are not left with understanding but only with wonder.” – Charles Ringma, Hear the Ancient Wisdom: A Meditational Reader for the Whole Year from the Early Church Fathers up to the Pre-Reformation

This Red Tingle tree, in a National Park in South Western Australia, has been given an appropriate name: “The Sentinel.” The tree, according to the notice nearby, has a very impressive 12m circumference at its base. In common with other Red Tingles in the area its core has been burned out creating a small shelter. This ancient tree looked to me like one of the ‘living’ trees out of The Lord of the Rings.  I saw this tree while walking the Bibbulmun Track in November last year, and when I recently read John’s words about his vision of a “New Jerusalem… coming down from God…” and a voice shouting “ God’s home is now with his people… he will wipe away all tears from their eyes,” I remember the Sentinel. Here is a New Year poem inspired by this Red Tingle tree.

The Sentinel

For hundreds of years

This living giant

Has stood guard 

Over each new year.


Winds have torn at her limbs

Fire has eaten at his heart

Thirst has wilted her leaves

But the Sentinel still stands and speaks.


The Sentinel speaks from experience:

“This year will be no different

Our limbs will be torn

Our hearts will be hollowed out

We will thirst,


But, I bear witness, and I know,

‘God’s home is now with his people

The end of tears is near.’”


The Sentinel stands guard

The Sentinel speaks

Can you hear?

As an Amazon Associate I receive a small amount for purchases made through appropriate links. Thank you for supporting Godspace in this way.

Blog Ads 400 x 400 35

Join Christine Sine and special guest Tom Sine in the Godspace Light Community Facebook Group as they discuss commitment to a whole life faith and a rhythm of life that flows out of it.. Happening every other Wednesday–join us for the next one on January 19th, 2022 at 9am! Can’t make it live? We post them after on our youtube channel, so you never miss the fun!

You may also like

Leave a Comment