Knot… Priceless

Look at the old rotten cedar log. The screw like structure is a knot. The rings and point are very sharp and hard.
A most scenic restroom.

10 portages deep into the Boundary water Canoe Area Wilderness, we made camp. Designated campsites have a fire grate (usually with a view of the lake) and a latrine back in the woods. Rules of the wilderness allow gathering only dead and downed wood can be gathered for the fire. Many people bring a small portable single burner stove and fuel for ease and in case it’s raining or too dry so a fire ban is in place. We gather firewood and cook over the fire grate or over a little bug fire wood stove Lots of heat for a fifth of the wood or less.

On the edge of this particular campsite was a very rotten cedar log. I have no idea how long it had been there but cedar doesn’t rot real fast. Out of possibly hundreds of campers on this very desirable site over the years, no one bothered to give this log a second look in their wood gathering. Nobody saw any value in the old rotten log.

Experienced campers knowing the ways of wood and the woods have already spotted it. A priceless Knot.

The limb grows out and out and upward in the cedar to find the suns rays. The knot of the branch anchors it to the main tree trunk.

I don’t know all that causes a branch to begin growing out of the main stem of a tree, but the base of the branch tied all the way to the center of the tree begins to build immense strength and structure as the knot may end up holding a huge branch a long ways out from the trunk for a hundred years. It must survive heavy winds and is the only supply line of water and nutrition. The branch must be tied in extremely well to the tree or it will die. This is the priceless knot area. The place where the tree interacts with the branch. The knot is the anchor area of the branch. A priceless area.

Knots don’t rot. Eventually yes but this log was full of extremely hard, loaded with pitch knots. I walked down the rotten log and kicked them out easily. To one who wants fire, priceless!

Solid knot cores. It looks like campers sawed off the branches long ago.

A pitch filled knot will burn a long time and put out a lot of heat. They burn like a torch and the pitch inside boils out before the wood burns up. I found five logs nearby full of pitchy knots I could pull out of the rotten logs. The hardened knots went to the center of the log, formed from the center out, always connected to the flow of sap from the core of the tree out to the greenery on the branches. Even in death they held a reservoir of sap now dry and hardened.

A burning knot will stay burning in a rain. A knot will hold it’s fire and coals long after the rest of the wood is gone. knots can be used as a spare tent stake. Knot ridges are so sharp they can cut a tent cord. A knot could be a dangerous weapon, although I’ve never herd of anything dying by knot (That’s a murder mystery book idea for someone).

Long after I am gone, my hope is in the knot area of my life. The knot that anchored my life’s branch. The knot that embedded deep into the tree of life I was grafted into. The knot that developed and grew with the strength given by the trunk. anchored securely, drinking deeply, and supplying life.

How else can new growth happen? Only from the growing knot anchored (abiding) in the main trunk (the vine)

Just as we can see a tree growing out of a rock and say “behold, the power of a seed”, I believe God leaves pictures and analogies of truth lying in a rotted log on a wilderness forest floor. As I pitched a few knots into a pile some one said “what’s that?” I replied “knot…priceless’

Jesus said in John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

The analogy of the knot as an anchor point connecting sustenance and nutrition to our lives in Christ here and for eternity as the knot does for the tree and it’s branches. works for me. The strength of our knots anchor lies in how much time we spend connecting with the savior. This is why we are encouraged to “pray without ceasing” 1Thessalonians 5:17. Never sever our connection to Jesus (That wood rot and lead to “not…priceless).


To see BWCA Adventure Expectations and this last trips pictures go to my other blog (click here)

23 thoughts on “Knot… Priceless

  1. Such a great post, Gary! And, I learned so much that I did not know in terms of tree knots! God does work in mysterious ways, always teaching us lessons we need to know,: we discover His grace in so many places…even in the remoted woods.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much Linda. Some times small details matter big. In a small way it may help campers appreciate the knots as well.
    We do discover his grace in so many places in unexpected ways. That’s big

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great analogy, Gary. I didn’t know that about knots, I just remember from shop class in grade school that knots are nearly impossible to saw through, at least they were for this third grader. 😉 I hope my connection to the Vine is that indestructible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Gary. Great study. You’ve illustrated so well yet another wonder of nature. There is so much the Lord created that remains unknown or unacknowledged. Some may ask “How do trees know to do this?” Others refer to “Nature” with no acknowledgement of the Designer who designed all the incredible designs thereof, as if all these design miracles just happened on their own somehow. You know, it all somehow became automatic after millions of years.

    I remember a story of a man who lived in west Texas who had some property and built a house. He got his very young son to help him plant several trees. If one knows west Texas one knows there are no trees or extremely few. There’s even a town out there named Notrees, Texas. Later on, the day came when this man took his very young son on his first deer hunting trip. They left the land of no trees and after traveling southeast for many miles suddenly entered the realm of many trees. The little boy was shocked at what he was seeing. He couldn’t figure out how it was possible. “Dad! Who planted all these trees?”

    Well, I know. And I am thankful. Blessings to you

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks Crissy, Small details in nature, like the knot, are not small to the branch. I realized how not so small being connected to the vine properly is for us as branches.


  6. Wow Gary!! You have taught me so much in this post about the knot of a cedar tree. You said it so well, “I believe God leaves pictures and analogies of truth lying in a rotted log on a wilderness forest floor.”

    Liked by 1 person

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