Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Tree

The tree stretched long branches across the immediate sky, a shaded barrier between here and the brilliant azure above. It seemed to reach down to the young boy sitting underneath the expanse. He looked up and smiled. His mind was full of expectation. The tree was his friend. It gave him shade and hope and, on breezy spring days like this, a bit of wisdom.

"Was it always like this?" The boy asked, in regards to the War.

"No," said the tree with a wave of his branches. He sighed and tried to explain. "Long before now, when the trees were all small and young, when the grass was still learning to be green, when the sky above was not as blue..." He trailed off, but then continued, "When we were still dependent on the Creator we were uncertain and cautious. And we looked to Him all the time. He guided us. He was training us how to be, how to do what a tree does, what grass does, what a boy does." He smiled and added, "There was no war then. No one told us there could be and we didn't think of it."

The boy nodded. The list of what he'd lost grew day by day. It outnumbered what he still had, well, unless you count the tree. He had memories and photos, a few drawings. He had time held in a bottle on his nightstand. He'd caught it the day of his biggest loss, so far, and held it tight. He would never open that bottle. Never.

The tree seemed to hear his thoughts. Time would pass anyway he knew, but he kept that to himself because his friend was in pain. He reached down and held the boy close the way time was held in the bottle. He knew, like time, his friend would change and grow and become different, but he kept that to himself too because the thought of it gave the tree pain.

They sat for long moments like that, each hoping nothing would change. The tree, with his memories of how things could be, and the boy with time held tightly, afraid that any further moment would bring loss. They were like stone, unmoving, frozen. 

Nothing could break them free until the sun intervened. It was higher than they and could see farther. It could see peace approaching, still some distance away, but much close than either the tree or the boy could imagine. It spoke, boldly and with great power, "It's almost here!"

But the two didn't speak the sun's language. They didn't even realize it was speaking. To them, the communication was just rays of light pouring in and bouncing randomly. A beautiful spectacle to be sure, but meaningless to them otherwise.

The sun tried harder. It screamed and shouted and waved its flares. No response. The boy and the tree sat utterly unmoved by the good news. 

So the sun sent the wind. It roared and billowed and tried to tell them as well, "The sun says peace is coming!" But they could not understand the wind either.

The wind and the sun huddled together, trying to come up with a plan. They decided to ask water for help since it was easy to move. It was quite effortless for it to flow around the base of the tree, but the water could not be understood either. It only made the boy climb high into the tree's branches in terror, while the tree was in fear for his roots.

The sun sighed. The wind rustled. But the water had an idea. He whispered it to them and waited anxiously to see what they thought.

The sun laughed.

The wind nodded.

It would work, they thought.

And, so, the sun and the water and the wind called to the earth. It shook from its long sleep, quiet at first, but inspired when it heard of their dilemma. It was flattered that they'd thought of it and was eager to help.

It moved. A little at first, then more, soon defiantly and with abandon as if it were dancing. The boy held tighter and tighter. The tree feared even more for his roots. They cried out in terror, but what was happening was good. The ground rose in unison like a mountain being moved all at once. The tree with its roots intact, the boy at the top holding on, and all that they knew, all that was of them, rose and rose and rose until they were higher than they'd ever been. In fact, they were higher than they thought possible. They felt like they were as high as the sun. They'd been terrified, but everything had turned out fine. They weren't where they had expected to be, but they were somewhere. 

And the boy looked around.

"Tree," he shouted. "Look! Peace is coming!"


  1. Is this your writing Sandi? It is a beautiful spiritual reflection of 'Learning to trust'.

    1. Yes, Brenda. I am the author. Thank you!

  2. Hi Sandi! "There weren't where they expected to be, but they were somewhere." Ain't that the truth! What a beautiful essay. It reminds me of the times I would hug and hold my 12 year old daughter, knowing those times were ending soon. She'd grow up and not want that anymore.

    I hope I can be like your little boy in the story. To look around after terror passes, and realize that peace is coming!
    You write so well my friend.

    1. Thank you, Ceil!

      I was also thinking of my kids growing up as I wrote that part. It happens so fast. They tell you that, of course, but you don't realize until you look back and the years have flow by.

      I hope I always remember to look forward to the peace that is coming. Sometimes things are better than they seem. :)

      Good to see you! Glad you stopped by.

  3. Oh, this is just wonderful. You are quite the gifted writer. Thank you for popping in to see me.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. I love this! I think all parents can relate to the tree holding the boy close, knowing change would be coming. Thanks for stopping at my blog and thanks for sharing your words here.

  5. Hello, wonderful writing and a lovely story. I am glad the bou found peace at the end. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend.

  6. Just a lovely picture and your writing is so apt.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

  7. Oh Sandy, your prose is perfection this very morning! If only the stillness could speak...well, it DOES I believe, and maybe I should rephrase that: Oh, if only humans could hear.

    Thank you for coming to visit me! Anita

  8. Sandi I'm so pleased that I came over for a visit as this was wonderful. Oh such a beautiful story causing one to reflect.
    I thought of my two daughters and how they have grown up so very quickly, and as a mother you have that tendency to want to hold on ever so tightly, yet knowing the time will arrive when you must let go gently and find the peace of God through it.
    This was beautiful and quite profound.

    Thank you for gracing your presence and beauty for my dear Stephanie's birthday and leaving a sweet comment. It was good to see you again.
    I look forward to picking up on my visiting, and will certainly be back soon.

    Have a beautiful and blessed day in all its glory.

  9. Agreed what you focus on is what you become. I am your newest follower.
    JM, IL

  10. So beautiful piece.. I became so emotional.. I'm following you..


  11. Hi, Sandi. This is really a very nice writing you shared on The Tree. You have explained the scenery with a very good manner. Thanks for your nice article.

  12. I have really enjoyed reading this story Sandi and it has given me much to reflect on.

  13. You wrote this so well that it would not let me stop until the final word.

  14. I love this story :)