There is a pine tree on the golf course across the road where I live. I remember the day it was planted over 35 years ago. I was 9 years old with a new golden retriever puppy and given the grown up responsibly of walking her. I would take her to that tree and let her off the leash to swim in the river while I rested my body on the wobbly trunk. Eventually, the branches made a good perch. This is how life flew though my childhood summers…walking to that tree with my dog and a smile in my heart.
Now I am older with 3 dogs and the wacky Wisconsin seasons test the hearty winter lover in me. Some days the walk is a chore. However, a small miracle occurs at that pine tree. It is too large to climb, but instinctively, my hand reaches out to touch the trunk; a warm flow of energy goes up my arm to my heart, and I smile unintentionally.
You see, that tree is me.
The once flexible branches, are no longer able to bend on a whim with the wind. Where the outside was once smooth and soft, weathered lines appear on the thickening bark. Yet in the harshest of winters, the roots have been nurtured, growing deep and strong. As the tree grew bigger, it took on more responsibility; providing a warm shelter, restful shade, and happiness for the creatures who come in contact with it. If we could see the rings, we would know the inside has not died or changed; it still radiates with pure childlike love.
In memory of my first 4 legged love, Heather.