There was once a small witch hazel tree that grew alone in poor soil on an exposed area of land. In the autumn and winter, the North wind would tear at its branches mercilessly. The witch Hazel put its roots down to hold on, but often felt as though the cruel wind would tear it out of the ground.
One day the North wind blew icy and cold across the landscape in sudden unpredictable gusts. The branches of the tree bent nearly double as the storm raged. It felt that any minute its very roots would lose their hold on the soil beneath and it groaned in despair.
The God of the elements heard the cries of the witch hazel and roared at the north wind:” how dare you threaten this tree. No living thing should be subjected to more suffering than it can bear. All are here for a purpose. This witch Hazel contains a powerful healing medicine. I command you to stop!”
Chastened and subdued, the wind took care from that moment on not to release its full force on the witch Hazel.
And the tree grew tall and strong to its full 12 foot height. It put out its yellow flowers in early spring and its leaves were rich in green. And now the climate was more hospitable, other shrubs and trees grew up around it, providing a barrier of protection, comfort and companionship.
Today the witch Hazel provides healing for many and is still standing.