Story: The Tree

This is a CONFIDENCE in adversity story – using resources to overcome difficulties.

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the tree

There was once a tree that grew well in a kind and warm climate and enjoyed the feeling of the sun on its branches and the companionship of other trees. As the seasons followed each other, the tree lost its leaves in winter and put out green shoots in spring that produce new leaves. Every year the branches of the tree got longer and thicker. Such is the order of things.

Then one day there was a great commotion. Huge metal machines and the whine of chainsaws could be heard along with the whispered news that many trees had been chopped down. The trees fell silent. Our tree was terrified, as, into the silence came the continued sounds of chainsaws and axes coming nearer and nearer. And then everything stopped. The cold weather was approaching. The wind that blew across the land, with nothing to stop it, tore at our tree until it wondered whether it could hold on. But it did. The tree put more roots down deep into the earth to make itself stronger.

With the warm weather, the machines changed and houses were built. Homebuyers came to look around. There was talk of removing all the remaining trees. A couple buying the house near our tree looked up into its wide branches spread out beneath the blue sky and seeing its beauty asked to keep the tree in their garden. So it was that the tree provided shade in hot weather. The birds nested high among the leaves. Years later, children built tree houses in it and attached the swing to its strong branches. The tree felt happy to hear the laughter. Seasons gave way to the years and the children grew up and left home.

The couple needed an extra garage and decided the only place for it was next to the tree. Once again the tree was threatened by machines and cutting equipment. This time it felt the pain. Its roots became damaged and made the tree feel unstable and fearful that the next gale could cause it to fall to the ground. Just as the tree was giving up hope of recovery, it thought about all its roots and realised that only did it have damaged roots on the side of the new garage, but it had undamaged roots on the other side.

Right away, the tree began the task of strengthening all the roots on the other side, sending them deeper and deeper down into the soil and out into the ground further and further until, in time, it felt stable, strong and healthy.

The birds continue to nest in its branches, the grandchildren came back to climb the tree like their parents before them and there were big family picnics in its shade.

It is still standing today.

Hilary Farmer