Saturday, December 6, 2008

Symbolism and Christmas

The symbol of the season, a fresh-cut evergreen tree, is one I will accept no substitutes for. For as long as I remember, my family has trekked in the freezing cold in search of the perfect tree. Now that I'm married, my husband and I still go with my family but get a tree of our own as well.

In addition to symbols passed down from the yule log tradition, each ornament on my mom and dad's tree, and now on ours, means something. I respect the preference some people have for matchy-matchy sets of color-coordinated ornaments, but my family trees are a mish-mash of antiques, baubles purchased on journeys all over, and even some made in elementary school. Though I am not always a sentimental person, it does give me pause to take each ornament out of its newspaper wrapping and reflect on when and where I came into possession of it. I have ornaments from my travels in Europe, some that were wedding gifts, some passed down from the days when my grandmother lived in a log cabin with no electricity. When I really think about it, I realize that my yearly Christmas tree is in many ways a collection of the symbols of my life.

We're decorating the tree tomorrow, so more pics coming soon!

Enjoy these pictures of 2008's Christmas tree, found at Dirr Nurseries in Goshen, Ohio.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Leo Petroglyph

According to the Ohio Historical Society, Leo Petroglyph contains 37 carvings that depict humans and animals. The Fort Ancient Indians are the likely creators.

The carvings appear on a large piece of sandstone on the edge of a large ravine, making it susceptible to weather and erosion; it’s isolated location and minimal barriers make it a target for vandals who like to add to the ancient carvings.

With tightening budgets, I wonder how well this attraction is patrolled. Sadly, the signs have been damaged and the rock is protected by what is basically a picnic shelter. It seems odd, somehow, to be able to have a picnic near what may very well be a religious or ceremonial relic.

Nobody knows for sure what the carvings mean, though to me it appears to be a hunting scene of some sort. Most intriguing is a monster-like horned figure that may represent a shaman or mythical beast.

If you are ever in the Chillicothe or Jackson areas, this site is worth a visit. Unfortunately, I have been unable to pin down an exact street address, but these directions from the state got us there:

Leo Petroglyph is near the village of Leo, five miles northwest of Jackson, in Jackson County. Turn off of U.S. Route 35 on County Road 28, then left in Leo on Township Road 224.

It’s also wise to call ahead to make sure there are no unexpected or special closings. When we attempted to visit Fort Hill on the same trip, the trails were closed for deer season.



1-800-686-1535 (toll free)