The Tree – by Neal Stone

the-tree

The Tree

During the war of 1812 it was only a sapling. But over the past two hundred years it grew into a mighty tree. It became massive and mighty. Stronger than any other tree around it. Branches that stretched 50 feet in any direction and were so huge that they needed iron posts to hold them up.

The tree was proud of how it grew, of its size and strength. For years it stood strong and rooted holding its ground. All the other trees looked up to it and admired it. “Oh how I want to be strong and mighty as that tree” they said in admiration.

The tree was proud and strong and earned its respect over the centuries. There was no other as big, strong or as beautiful as this tree. The tree was happy of the life he grew into. Happy to stand in the sun and feel its warmth providing shade for all who needed shelter in the heat of the day.

The tree was strong.
Then the storm came.

The tree was mighty.
Then the storm came.

The tree was tall and proud.
Then the storm came.

At first the tree worried not. It was strong and deeply rooted and the winds were not even noticeable at first. But the winds blew stronger and the tree could feel a few leaves fly off and the branches move a little. But it still did not worry for it was strong and mighty. But the winds grew even stronger and the branches started to move back and forth in the wind. But even then it didn’t worry for it knew it could withstand these winds.

But now the winds started to howl and blow harder and the branches started dancing back and forth in the winds and the tree started to worry a little, but still felt it was strong enough to withstand the storm. And then the winds grew mighty and the trees branches whipped back and forth in the wind. The tree began to wonder if it will survive the storm? “Am I strong enough? Am I mighty enough?” it asked itself.

Small branches broke off and flew away waving in the wind as if mocking the tree. The larger branches started to twist and turn as they waved back and forth as the winds grew even stronger. The branches would twist and crack and small splinters would shoot out from underneath the bark. Then came the rain that poured down on the tree. What once gave life was now bringing death, what once brought hope now brought despair.

Then in a sound of thunder the largest branches twisted and broke free. They fell to the ground in a thunderous crash at the base of the tree. The waters of the sea rose and made its way towards the tree. The storm grew even stronger and it felt as if the tree was to be pulled up by its very roots, but the tree held on.

The waters now covered the bottom of the tree. The ground was no longer visible as the waters rose even more. “Is this it? Is this all I am to be after all these years? To be washed away, a faded memory of what once was? Forgotten in time?”. But the tree held on even as the waves crashed against its trunk threatening to uproot it.

The water rose even higher and soon covered the tree completely until it was seen no more. The tree was frightened. “Is this it? Am I now washed away, just a faded memory of what I once was? Is there nothing more? Is this the end? Is this the end?” the tree thought to itself.

The tree was now completely covered by the sea and rain. Its branches torn and washed away and its bark ripped away in spots.

The tree stood there waiting for the end. Waiting to be uprooted and washed away. But it held on. It looked up through the water and saw darkness. It stood in darkness and despair. The tree was ready to give up and let go.

Then it saw something, a light shining on its trunk through the water. It looked up and the darkness started to pass and the sun was now shinning down through the water. The storm was over. The sun got brighter and brighter and the water started to finally go down. It wasn’t long before the top of the tree broke through the water into the warm sunshine free of the storm that once threatened it. Free to breath again and feel the warmth of the spring sun.

The waters finally receded and the tree was free once again. It stood there broken and bare. Its mighty branches gone and washed away. It was no longer mighty, no longer strong, no longer proud. It was broken and weak. Bare of all its huge branches that it had grown over the years. All that was left was a large trunk broken and worn, tired from the storm. But the tree held on.

The tree looked at itself and the broken mess it had become. It looked at its broken branches and mourned all that had been washed away. Its beautiful leaves blown away in the wind. It no longer provided shade from the hot afternoon sun. But the tree held on.

Broken and bare the tree knew there was only one thing it could do. It began to grow.

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