The Tree of Life

Once upon a time there was a tree.
And it grew in a beautiful place in the country.
The tree was tall and had deep roots and solid branches and green leaves.
And it was a proud tree.

One day a boy began climbing the tree.
And he knew that he wanted to climb until he reached the very top.
So the tree carefully guided him from branch to branch, higher and higher.
And the boy felt safe and loved.

The boy continued climbing the tree, a little higher every day.
And as the boy climbed the tree, the tree provided comfort and protection.
Its leaves gave the boy shelter, its branches gave the boy structure.
And its roots gave the boy a solid foundation to build on.

Then one day the boy finally reached the top of the tree.
He was excited and the tree was very proud of how far he had climbed.
But the tree knew that the time had come.
To let the boy go.

So the tree said to the boy.
“My leaves are changing colors and the wind is starting to blow.”
“Find the biggest leaf you see and climb on it and close your eyes.”
“And the wind will take you wherever you’re supposed to go.”

The boy looked to his right and to his left and up above and down below.
And finally, at the very, very top of the tree on the very highest branch.
The boy saw the most perfect leaf he had ever seen.
And he climbed onto the leaf and closed his eyes just as the tree had told him.

Soon the wind picked up and the boy could feel his leaf trembling.
He grabbed on with all his strength to be sure he wouldn’t fall.
And then he watched as the stem of his leaf began to break free.
From the tree that had nurtured him for so many years.

The boy was excited to be free and on his own.
And as the strong wind carried the leaf high up into the air like a magic carpet,
The boy turned around and waved goodbye to the tree.
And it was a proud tree.

Soon the boy was far enough away that he could no longer see the tree.
So he turned back around to watch where the wind might be taking him.
All around, the boy saw the amazing opportunities the world had to offer.
And he settled in for the ride of his life.

The wind carried the boy to mystical places and magical lands.
On exotic adventures and extraordinary challenges.
Through happiness and sadness and love and hate.
And wins and losses and successes and failures.

As the wind carried the boy he felt exhilaration and freedom.
He began to learn to control the leaf and take it where he wanted it to go.
And he grew and gained knowledge and insight and experience and wisdom.
And felt as if he could fly forever.

But eventually the boy grew weary and wished that his leaf would finally land.
And he remembered what the tree had said when he was first set free.
So he closed his eyes just as the tree had told him.
And the wind began to slow down and change directions.

When the boy opened his eyes, the wind had carried him back to the country.
There was the tree with its deep roots and solid branches and green leaves.
As the boy smiled at the tree, the wind blew one last burst.
And he landed safely right at the base of the trunk.

The boy was happy to finally be on the ground.
He knew that his leaf had fallen right where it was supposed to have fallen.
And when the tree looked down and noticed that the boy had grown into a man.
It was a proud tree.

For my son, who is climbing his own tree and will someday have to be let go.

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37 Comments

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37 responses to “The Tree of Life

  1. I was wondering where you were going with this and the last line says it all.

    Great piece of work.

  2. Beautiful. I think your son is in good hands.

  3. That makes even ME want to climb a tree!

  4. You are an amazing writer…and you made me cry yet again. So true in all aspects of my life right now….thanks darling…

  5. I don’t even know what to say,on this one other than AMAZING!!!!! Damn, you sure can write.

  6. Texanne

    As an old lady who climbed a tree, soared on a leaf, and came back to the place where my roots remain, I can vow that you told the truth.

    And you told it beautifully. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  7. mysterycoach

    That’s just beautiful. ThIs would be an excellent book right here.

  8. Beautiful post! I could see it illustrated and read to many young boys!

  9. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww – I have some of those leaves too. Neither will fall far from the tree, I am thinking.

    Hugs to you both!

  10. My son, now 21, had an old cedar tree he and his buddies all climbed, hammered over 500 nails into, told secrets, spied on neighors…all in that one tree. With the April 27th tornadoes in my area, which tree, the only tree, in our yard came down? That one. He chainsawed parts of it and gave them to me for my closet. Most of the parts had nails. We kept the stump. Couldn’t bear to dig it up. I planted bulbs around it to come up this next Spring. Thanks for this story.

  11. jennygoth

    i have two leaves who have left that tree but didnt travel too far away i can still see them where they settled xxjen great writing

  12. Just sent my Scout off to college. You know how a fruit tree fades it production after 20 years? Same feeling. Then I realized…. Now I can get gnarly and twisted.

  13. Love, love, love this piece. I pick the best co-captains for my kickball team. TWITTER TRANSLATION: I’m surrounded by a gazillion people in this world, but choose to only keep up with a select few, and man, I have the best taste.

  14. Oops, you’re in that select group. (Hate when I get all excited and press POST before I re-read.)

  15. A Life Less Boring

    This is a beautiful piece! The imagery is great.

    Way to go!

  16. What an extraordinary writer you are! I have been exploring your site, (landed here through another link) and am captivated by your story telling. You have the ability to share tender moments, thoughtful insights, and laugh out loud hilarity (Overlooked . again!) Bravo!

    • Hi Lynn. Thank you! That is too kind! I’m glad you found the site and found some compelling reading. I try to keep it lighthearted, funny, serious, happy, sad, fun…. yeah, a little of everything. I appreciate your comments. I will check your site out too!

  17. Pingback: The Tree of Life (Audio) | The Brown Road Chronicles

  18. Pingback: The Tree of Life | The Brown Road Chronicles

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