As many of you know, I am a 3rd generation graduate of Auburn University. It is something I am very proud of, like anyone who has close family ties to a school. I walked the same paths others in my family walked while at Auburn. Some of you may say it's just about football, but those of you who are part of the fam. understand what I'm talking about. It's driving into Auburn, no matter how old you are, and knowing you're home.
Part of that for me are the trees at Toomer's Corner. We found out today that someone intentionally poisoned the trees, and they may not live. Before you poopoo on what I'm saying, please know I'm not some tree hugger. I believe God made us stewards of this earth & put us here to be "keepers of the garden". It's not the trees themselves, it's what they represent. The Toomer's trees are over 130 years old. They have been a part of Auburn for a generations of students. It feels like a little part of me is dying, because I am Auburn. It's the tradition that surrounds the original trees that will be missed.
I like what the president of AU had to say: "It is understandable to feel outrage in reaction to a malicious act of vandalism," Gogue said. "However, we should live up to the example we set in becoming national champions and the beliefs expressed in our Auburn Creed. Individuals act alone, not on behalf of anyone or any place, and all universities are vulnerable to and condemn such reprehensible acts."
I'm glad he mentioned the creed. Did you know Auburn is the only school with one? It was written in 1945 by George Petrie who was a professor. It is our creed that helps to know who we are as Auburn men & women. If you've never read it before, or love AU and know it's who you are I invite you to read it again:
"I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.
I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.
I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.
I believe in a sound mind, a sound body, and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.
I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.
I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.
I believe in my country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."
And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it."
Two years ago, for Christmas, I bought Hopson & my brother, Cotton, Toomer's Corner seedlings. I wrote Hopson a letter talking about our tree. We met at Auburn, so that's where our story began. Now more than ever that tree is so special to me, because not only does it represent our beginning, but it represents a place we love, and the trees that held such a coveted place in the hearts of the Auburn family.
I hope they can save the trees, but it is a very sad day for all of us in the Auburn family.
Y'all be blessed beyond measure,
|Toomer's Corner after the BCS Win 2011|