New Station #5 Officially "Topped Out" - Keyser Point Road
Friday, October 30, 2015
A group of Ocean City Volunteers braved inclement weather this morning to partake in a centuries old tradition; the "topping out" of the new Station #5. Scandinavian mythology suggests that humans originated from trees and our souls returned to the trees after death, giving each tree a spirit of its own. Humans began constructing their shelter with wood. Before cutting a tree, they would formally address the forest, reminding it of the consideration they had always shown toward the trees and asking the forest to grant use of a tree for construction of their home. When the house was complete, the topmost leafy branch of the tree used would be set atop the roof so that the tree spirit would not be rendered homeless. The gesture was supposed to convince the tree spirit of the sincere appreciation of those building the home. As time passed, the early conception of tree worship gradually changed. The individual tree spirits merged into a single forest god who could pass freely from tree to tree. Trees were no longer placed atop the home to appease spirits, but rather to enlist the blessings of the forest god. The tree branches on top of the home ensured fertility of the land and the home. The custom of placing a tree on a structure came with immigrants to the United States and became an integral part of American culture in barnraisings and housewarmings. The American Flag was proudly unfurled at the same time to display an outward sign of our love for country and patriotism.