dVerse OLN — Redemption

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“Damaged Tree in Front Yard of Felt Property,” taken 091620

This tree had seen its fair share of misery long before lightning or disease disfigured it. It is unknown how old it was when Felt mansion was completed in 1928. It is known that within months of the mansion’s completion Mrs. Felt died in her bedroom not 50 feet away from the tree. It is known that her husband died only 18 months after her.

Less than 25 years after their deaths the Felt family sold the mansion to an orphanage. After that, the State of MI used it as part of its prison system. At some point it was abandoned to the ravages of time. Did the tree draw the residual darkness from the humans to itself and become a willing sacrificial scapegoat?

These days, the mansion has been restored.  Happy events like weddings and graduation parties take place. Disc golf groups roam the green of the grounds. A solar array near it creates energy for the community. The tree and the small shrine at the bottom of the hill serve as reminders to what was.

Moving beyond, to
glory days that never were –
maimed wood’s redemption.

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“Small Shrine at Bottom of the Hill,” image taken 091620

Bjorn is today’s host for dVerse’ Open Link Night.

Learn more about The Felt Mansion here.

40 Comments Add yours

  1. Ron. says:

    Haibunilicious, Lisa.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Ron!

      Like

  2. Sadje says:

    What a character-full tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It really is. If you look at it from up on the porch of the house, you can see the center of it has been destroyed on top also. I’ll be posting more pics of the mansion from yesterday soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I love that shrine..love the rocks.
    The tree…if only trees could talk…I won’t break out the Lorax this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      LOL Well-said, Max!

      Like

  4. lovely stry….😎♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. scotthastiepoet says:

    You conjure so much here, just as that gnarly old tree did over the years. Easy to poetically seduce me with this, my friend… I’ve been a confirmed tree hugger for many years now!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thanks, Scott!

      Like

  6. Ingrid says:

    That is a fantastic tree with a dark story to tell! I’m pleased the building has a happier use now – but I agree it’s important to remember the darker past. We have an abandoned building with a chequered history close to where we live: perhaps I will write about it sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you enjoyed the offering, Ingrid. I look forward to you possibly writing about the building.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kim881 says:

    Great to see you at the live OLN. But such a shame you didn’t get to read, Lisa. What an amazing tree you wrote about, and the history of Felt Mansion is so interesting. Is there an answer to the question, ‘Did the tree draw the residual darkness from the humans to itself and become a willing sacrificial scapegoat?’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thanks, Kim. I’m not real hepped about reading to a group. The closest to it has been recording myself on soundcloud for a few poems. I can’t imagine a more receptive group than the folks at dverse so I’ll do it and hopefully get better at it with practice.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. judeitakali says:

    Loved that tale, Jade. And that finishing haiku sent me over the edge, beautiful work

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thank you very much, Jude.

      Like

  9. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    So much here between the lines. In my view this is the Jesus Tree, standing up to the darkness, absorbing sin and evil, and still standing, its scars a testament
    to its sacrifices. Making way for the rebirth of this place; heavy-duty analogy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn thank you for your insightful comment. I didn’t of it that way until reading it.

      Like

  10. rivrvlogr says:

    “Did the tree draw the residual darkness…”

    I can imagine the tree as a weathered sentinel, faithfully standing guard.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I really liked the light touch in this – such an amazing photo and you could have dived into the dark shadows and gothic tales looming there – but instead it was gentle and hopeful and – like your haiku – about redemption.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Peter. I really feel the tree wanted its story told.

      Like

  12. calmkate says:

    thanks for the story of that characterful tree! It has witnessed so much history …

    Liked by 1 person

  13. pvcann says:

    I love that tree, there’s a section on the left that looks like the top of a head and two shoulders and an arm – a human trying to get out. It has seen and “felt” much. (couldn’t make the live).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Wow, now I see it. Eerie! (Maybe next time)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pvcann says:

        I’ll have to get my act together 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. kittysverses says:

    Beautiful pictures and an interesting story, Li. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Kitty 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kittysverses says:

        You are welcome, Li. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. memadtwo says:

    Darkness turned to light…I like that image. Trees do reflect their surroundings. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I saw a picture of the mansion when it was first built and that tree as a tiny sapling, newly planted.

      Like

  16. merrildsmith says:

    What a tree! I love trees, and I often think of the stories they can tell. Thanks for sharing this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Merril, and glad you appreciate the stories they can tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. No matter the change the tree stands there and see it change… what a journey for the mansion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You can’t see it in the photo, but the whole center of the top has been blasted out, which made me think of a bolt of lightning from the heavens. If I get back there (very likely) I’ll be sure to get at shot of it from that angle.

      Like

  18. sanaarizvi says:

    So much to take away from this haibun, Lisa! Evocative write ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks, Sanaa.

      Like

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