This small story is written at 3:30 in the morning. It came to me as I lay unable to sleep. It is unedited and it is first raw moment. However, as I thought about this, I thought of two friends that might need to hear it.
Once there was a lone tall tree. It stood on a knoll looking down at small stream that had sung to the tree as it had grown. The lone tree had sent its roots deep into the ground to touch the stream. It was nourished by its gentle caress teasing its questing roots.
It was a lonely life in the spring and summer. When the flowers were blooming and the tree at the edge of the stream would gain all its leaves, the small animals and birds would gather underneath its wide-spread branches. They would sing and chatter along the stream. They would dart and laugh throughout the beautiful tree's boughs. The beautiful tree would stretch and sway, its leaves held a beautiful song of its own. No one would notice the lone tree up on its small hill. Even the two legged things that came would sit under the beautiful tree. They would never come to the lone tree.
The lone tree understood. Who would want to sit under a tree with needles that pricked and prodded? Who would want to sit in the shade of its boughs when the lovely tree was so close by beckoning with its gentle music?
This year, winter came early. A great storm came and stripped the beautiful tree of its colored gown of gold and red. Branches broke and the beautiful tree fought to hold what was left. The storm raged on and slowly the beautiful tree toppled over. Its roots had been shallow there on the edge of the stream. The beautiful tree could gain no purchase as it fought against the storm. One great gust hit the beautiful tree and it toppled over.
Many of the birds were caught off guard, as they had not yet flown south for the winter. They fought the winds and found shelter against the one lone tree's trunk. The lone tree was determined to protect them all and bent it head in determination as its roots grasped the ground beneath it.
The snow weighed the branches down and the great tree let it. It made it warmer next to the trunk were the small animals and birds clung for safety. The lone tree was proud to keep them safe as it swayed in the face of the fierce storm.
The snow became so deep that the lone tree's low branches became trapped. The lone tree just smiled for now it knew that the storm could not break it or rip it from the ground. It would keep the animals safe.
One of the two legged things staggered against the storm. The lone tree waved a few branches showing the small enclosure beneath its boughs where snow had not fallen. The two legged thing crawled into the small cave at its base. The lone tree closed the gap and let no snow blow in to hurt the two legged thing.
As storms do, this one passed. The snow melted away under the sun's winter rays. The two legged thing hugged the lone tree and then crawled away. One by one, the small animals and birds fluttered off to play in the snow. Throughout the winter, the lone tree cared and protected all the small living things that had once nestled in the arms of the beautiful tree.
Spring would come again. The lone tree knew that the small animals and birds that now sang in its branches would fly off to find a new beautiful tree. One that had a short glorious moment of beauty and appeal. The lone tree knew that what really mattered was that one the storms of life raged against the small vale, it alone had protected those nearby.
It realized that beauty's roots are shallow. It realized that in all the effort to have beautiful swaying boughs of green and flowers, beauty had no time to gain in strength. It realized most of all that beauty does not last. In the face of a storm, it is the strength of the lone tree that stands strong. It is the warmth of protection that nurtures life. It is the love of all things that persists. It was content to sit alone its hilltop as the spring and summer winds blew. When things grew difficult, the tree would be there standing strong and open to all those that had need of its shelter.