Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Shadow and Its Tree

"Why," asked Shadow, "Am I so crooked and pointy and flat, when you Tree, are so soft and woody and tall?"

"Perhaps," answered Tree, "it is your perspective, how you are looking at yourself, what you see when you look closely. You are a reflection of me so you should feel soft and woody as well! Often we see ourselves through the eyes of others, is that what you are doing? Through the eyes of people walking by, through joggers, through squirrels and birds and deer?"

"Well, what I do see is crooked and pointy and also black with shades of gray. I try to see woody colors, browns and tans, but cannot. Teach me Tree, teach me!"

"Look closer, I would advise you. I stand here with my feet firmly planted on the ground, my roots reach deep into the earth as I look to the past. My branches reach far out towards the sky as I look to the future. I am both the past and the future at the same time ― but more, but more than that, I am the present. It is cold, the snow has fallen, my leaves have left me for the time being, and I stand here. I just am, I just am."

"I could try that. 'I am shadow. I am a reflection of your browns and tans. I am a reflection of my past and future but mostly I am my present right now with you. I have no leaves, I see the fallen snow, I just am, just am.' "

"What's more is I might become many things yet," added Tree. "When spring comes I will support green leaves again and birds and small animals will run through my branches. I will feel the gentle breezes, the falling rain dripping down my trunk and the sun warming me.

"Also," Tree continued, "I might become something altogether different. I might become part of a table on which to nourish families when they sit down to dinner. I might become a stair tread or a ladder which will help people reach higher than they usually could by themselves. I could become fuel for fire; to cook, heat, or light the way for someone.

I might become part of a wall of a house which will protect others from the cold, or the heat, or the rain, or the snow. I might become a box in which to help someone return to the earth where my roots started and where theirs will end ―and all of that right now reflects who you could become as well!

"Thank you Tree, I feel better about myself. And I," said Shadow, "will become those things with you!"

(Photograph and idea for story from Steven Skinner, )


  1. Wow, this is like a timeless children's story, that everybody enjoys. Lovely!

  2. Thanks Louise. And the motivation came from Steven, so thanks to him!


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