I often travel to get away from the city to the hills of Ester, Alaska. It is not that far of a drive from the outskirts of Fairbanks. Regardless of season, whether it’s winter, fall, summer or spring, it’s a beautiful excursion to get away from life in general even if it is just for a moment in time. During one of my many trips I befriended a tree along the way. If you ever read a book called, “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein this particular tree reminded me of one of my favorite children’s books growing up as a young boy.
I would often visit this tree to see how it adapted to the changes or environment around it. Some days were better than other days, but one thing for sure that remained the same or constant during my visits was this tree never swayed from being a productive member of its community. You see this tree never complained about its surroundings it just rolled with the changes.
There is something about rolling with changes that is so inspiring. This tree never asked for this life, but yet it still thrives from the opportunity of life to grow and flourish under the sunniest conditions and sometimes harsh reality of winter. The tree is not looking for fanfare. Most people drive by this tree everyday and pass it without a nod of appreciation of life. Why are we so ungrateful sometimes? Then again remember this tree never asked for attention just some recognition for being here in that moment with you.
What if one day you drive by and the tree is no longer there? Did it move on? Things change, people move on and life goes on. It’s the natural cycle of life to love to lose to regain to lose again, and etc.. I recently visited my old friend on a snowy winter day only to find out the tree was no longer there. I circled back and forth around the spot where the tree was supposed to be like I was searching for my lost best friend. How could this tree betray me? I felt heartbroken that something I enjoyed watching grow had left me. But then I truly understood the beauty of life and deeper appreciation for this place I call earth. The tree never said goodbye, but in my heart I just knew it was just time.