The Story Behind the Handcrafted Bronze Pinecone

The Story Behind the Handcrafted Bronze Pinecone

The Story Behind the Handcrafted Bronze Pinecone

I’m Garrett Lowe and I have a story to tell you.

Catharine, the owner of Squirrel Manchester, and I have a project that is very dear to our hearts.

It’s about pinecones, the ones you see in front of you, and their significance as gifts to those who are struggling.

Our project was born out of being struck by lightning.

Several years ago, while working by myself, I was splicing fiber optic cable two miles up an old Forest Service Road in eastern Oregon. Everyone else had gone home for the weekend. I was prepping the splice case and, luckily, had both ends of the metallic sheath that protected the fiber inside the cable in my hands.

Suddenly, an excruciating electrical jolt hit me. Searing pain came through my right hand, up my arm, across my back and chest, through my left arm and continued out my left hand.

In an instant I was thrown across my splice trailer and found myself on my knees screaming. It was as if someone had hit me in the back with a baseball bat while punching me as hard as they possibly could in the chest at the same time.

The Thunder

And then I heard thunder.  Only then did I realize what had happened. I had been struck by lightning as it followed the metallic sheath in the cable. I don’t remember much after that but somehow, I was able to back my trailer down that road and get to the hospital.

I am very lucky to be alive. If I hadn’t had both ends of the cable in my hands, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.  

I have always believed that each of us has a “purpose” in life. Every person I have spoken with or have been treated by said that evidently, my “purpose” here on Earth hasn’t been completed yet. My question then became “so what is it that I am supposed to be doing?”.

Nature has so much to teach us, and so much to give us, that I decided to do a little research on what a coniferous cone, such as the one you are looking at, must go through in order for the seeds to sprout. It’s a miracle that they do at all.

The Fire

The process usually involves fire in some form. Some cones must be burned for the “leaves” to open and expose the seed. Others simply open and drop the seeds out, and they land where ever they land. But that process, too, usually requires a fire to remove the detritus around it so that it can get exposed to the sun.

Either way, the seeds inside the cones MUST go through a very “searing” experience to become what it is they are meant to become.

These cones represent the seeds of potential in each and every one of us. I don’t have an explanation as to why but, quite often, we can only become what we are meant to become if we pass through the fire. If we let it, that fire will draw out the best in us. And you can let it draw the best from you and become the seeds of a new beginning.

While they don’t have a soul, these handcrafted bronze pinecones are significant reminders that struggle and “refinement” are an inescapable part of life.

But none of us need to go through the fire alone. It was never meant to be that way. Our purpose in life is to be a support to others and bear one another’s burdens, to be a light to someone else.

The Handcrafted Bronze Pinecone Project

Our project is to have you help us place these pinecones into the hands of someone who is in the fire, even if that someone is you. If you know someone who is struggling, give them one of these. Share this story with them and have them place it where they can see it and know that they are supported, loved, and cared for.

Each one of these cones is handcrafted, knowing that it will be given to someone who is in a difficult situation and is going through their version of the “fire”. The very act of handcrafting these involves fire and heat, LOTS of it, 2,000° F of it, just to get the raw bronze to transform into something malleable enough to create the bronze cone that you see. I pour thoughts of support and encouragement into each one I make, hoping that it will encourage and uplift someone who is in need.

If that someone is you, reach out to me and I’ll do what I can to help. I’ve been there and there are days when it feels like I’m going through it all over again. I’m not a counsellor, but I do have empathy and understanding. Catharine knows how to find me and if you have one of our cards, my information is on the back.

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