Blood Red Cross

 

 

 

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by Ernest Thompson Seton   

The Blood Red Cross in the Pine

A friend asked me what is the most beautiful color in nature. At once, my thoughts flew to the sunset clouds, to the peacock's plumes, the humming bird's throat, blood on the snow, the blue of the gentian, the red of the rambler.  But they kept on flying and passed many wonders that have given much happiness, and rested last of all on a pine knot with the noon sun shining through.

How amazing and wonderful it is, very few know. Though so common, it is rarely seen, for these four conditions are needed: your pine knot must be sawn in a thin veneer, it must be solid and resinous, the sun must be blazing through it and you must be in a dark room. It was in a black outhouse in the West that I first realized the splendor of this matchless color. I saw in it the storied tints of the Holy Grail, "like fingers held before a lamp." It was blood, it was wine, it was fire, it was life,--such depth, such vibrating hues in it that it gave me feelings I never before had gathered from a color.

I set about immediately to make a stained glass window of thin-sawn knots of pine. Simple it was to the last degree, --an upright row of these pine knot slices, and a short row crossing, making a veritable, wonderful rosy cross. Below at one side and to the right, I set another knot, blocked out in the shape of a goblet, a Holy Grail.

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It is an easy thing to make. And to see it is a duty that the forester owes to himself and to the wonderful pine tree. It will show you the hidden fires of the pine, the sunlight stored in the wood, far more completely than can any other glimpse that you may get. The words "Divine" and "elemental fire" will have new meaning when you see it.

And as it blazes, it exhales the heavenly, intensified incense, the frankincense of the pine.

Do you remember the story of the Holy Grail, the crystal goblet in which, legend hath it, Joseph of Arimathea captured the life blood of the Savior, the Sang Real? And how that Holy Grail vanished from the eyes of a sinful world, but may yet be seen by those whose eyes are purged by noble living.

Many saints sought after the Holy Grail and dreamed of it as a symbol.

St. Augustine, I think it was, wrote

Rend the rock and ye shall find me,
Cleave the wood and there am I.

I may be wrong in my quotation and its meaning, but these thoughts came back with a vision of joy and power as I gazed on the Rosy Cross and the blood-red Grail brought to view from a riven pine.

The Birch Bark Roll 

 

 

   

 

 


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Activities ] Archery ] Axe, Boy Scout ] Axe, Saw, Forestry ] Axe, Saw,  Knife ] Axe Use: Beard ] Axe Use: Seton ] Axe Use: Traditional ] Axe Throwing ] Beds, Woodcraft ] Bedding Materials ] Bicycle Maintenance ] Birch-Bark Torch ] Birds ] Bird Houses ] Blocks Tackles Purchase ] [ Blood Red Cross ] Broom: Camp or Witch's ] Buttons ] Campcraft ] Camp Hygiene ] Camp Planning ] Campfire Programs ] Catapult ] Chainsaws ] Checklists ] Chuck Box Riddance! ] City-Craft ] Compass Bear Song ] Compass, Home-Made ] Cooking ] Cotton Kills Bear Song ] Deduction in Tracking ] Deduction & Detective ] Drum ] Dyes ] Edible Plants ] Equipment, Leader ] Equipment, Personal ] Equipment Maintenance ] Equipment, Lightweight ] Equip, Pickle Bucket Camp ] Estimation ] Field Signals ] Fire-Building ] Fire Building ] Fire Laying ] Fire Lighting ] Fire Starters ] Fire: Rubbing-Stick ] Fire Types, Wood Types ] Fire Council Ring ] Fires: Woodcraft ] First Aid ] First Class Journey ] Flint & Steel ] Flowers ] Forest ] Gesture Signals ] Ground to Air Signals ] Handicraft Stunts ] High Adventure ] Hiking ] Hike Planning ] Indian Sundial Clock ] Insect Collecting ] Insect Preserve ] Indian Well ] Knife & Hatchet ] Knots, Bends, Hitches ] Knots: Diamond Hitch ] Knots: Lashings ] Knots: Rope Work ] Knots: Seton ] Knots: Traditional ] Knots & Whipping ] Lashings ] Lashing Practice Box ] Lace or Thong ] Learn by Doing ] Leave No Trace ] Leave No Trace ] Lights ] Local Knowledge ] Log Ladders, Notched ] Log-Rolling ] Logs: Cut Notch ] Logs Split with Axe ] Loom and Grass Mats ] Lost in the Woods ] Manners ] Maps ] Map & Compass ] Maps: Without Compass ] Measurement ] Measurement Estimation ] Menu Worksheet ] Menu (Adult IOLS) ] Mosquitoes ] Mushrooms ] Night Tracking ] Observation ] Old Trails ] Paints ] Pioneering, Basic ] Pioneering Models ] Plaster Casts ] Preparations ] Proverbs ] Rake ] Rope Care ] Rope Making ] Rope Spinning ] Scout Reports ] Signal & Sign ] Sign Language ] Silent Scout Signals ] Smoke Prints ] Snakes ] Spanish Windlass ] Spoons ] Staff/Stave Making ] Stalking Skills ] Stalking & Observation ] Stars ] Stools ] Story Telling ] Stoves & Lanterns ] Summoning Help ] Sun Dial: Scientific ] Survival Kit ] Tarp Poles ] Teepee (4 Pole) ] Tent Care ] Tent Pitching ] Tom-Tom ] Tomahawk Throwing ] Tomahawk Targets ] Totem Making ] Totem Animals ] Totem Poles ] Training in Tracking ] Tracks, Ground, Weather ] Tracking & Trailing ] Trail Following ] Trail Signs & Blazes ] Trail Signs of Direction ] Trail Signs: Traditional ] Trail Signs for Help ] Trees of the NE ] Wall Hangings ] Watch Compass ] Weather Wisdom ] Wild Things ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.