The Hollow of a Tree

By John Dilworth · May 20, 2010

On a neighborhood hike, I found this bible hidden in the hollow of a tree with an interesting and touching inscription

The Bible found in the tree hollow Photo of bible found in the tree hollow

I decided to make my way up a small mountain trail near my home as part of my evening run. The trail is one of my favorites, as it has a nice flow of runoff, a steady climb, and beautifully quite scenery. It is also not one of the most popular trails, and I rarely encounter anyone on it.

As I made my way up the trail, I decided to take a break near a small level clearing next to the stream. I thought to myself that the spot would make a nice little campsite, or even just a nice place for personal reflection. The spot was just off the trail, out of view, and contains a perfect stone to sit on. As I sat down, I noticed what I thought was garbage stuffed into the hollow of a tree. I looked further and pulled out an empty zip-lock bag. Under the bag was another bag which contained a book of some sort.

The book turned out to be a beautiful copy of the Holy Bible containing two inscriptions inside the front cover.

The first inscription, written in cursive with blue ink read:

Please leave this Bible here, for I often come to this spot and read God’s word. It would mean a great deal to me if it is here when I return each day.

Thank you so much,


The second inscription, printed in black ink read:

On Oct 12, 2009 Marcy left this Earth and is in the Presence of God. She was 59 years old. She loved the high mountain trails, hiking with her friends in all seasons and winding her way toward the mountain peaks and the light blue windless skies, now she will be part of them forever. Marcy loved her mountains and her hiking friends and family.

– To my beautiful wife, Goodbye. Stephen

I was deeply touched. I felt privileged to have the opportunity to become part of a very personal and beautiful story of life. I imagined Marcy taking a break and reading from the scriptures, searching and finding spiritual peace. I also felt the love and respect that her husband had for her.

Finding and reading this book tonight, in this setting with this artifact told me so much about these people I’d never met. It also told me a beautiful story about life and love, and let me experience it first hand in a beautiful setting. It transformed that little spot into holy ground, and I hope to return there often as well.

Marcy and Steven, thank you for your gift.

This story was first posted on Cowbird where it has enjoyed a good number of views, likes and comments.