Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reaching for the Sun

Once there was a seed.
The seed lived in the ground.
All around the seed was dark, cold earth.
There must be more than this, the seed thought. There must be more than cold and damp and darkness everywhere.
So the seed sprouted...

...and grew...
...and grew

until she pushed out of the ground into the sunlight.

The seed had become a seedling. One day the seedling would be a tree.

The seedling could see she was growing in a beautiful place where there was lots of grass and other trees. From where she grew, she could just make out a tranquil lake in the distance.

Here there was dark and light, day and night, birds chirping and dogs running and children playing.

Every day the seedling stretched and reached for the sun. She liked reaching for the sun. It made her grow.

The seedling grew a little each day. Soon she would be as tall as the children that played here.

But one day, while she was still only about knee high to most of the children, one of those children trampled her.

The little seedling knew it hadn't been intentional. The poor child had cried and cried when it happened. But the seedling found she was laying down on the ground now, reaching towards the lake instead of the sun.

So now every day, the seedling stretched skyward, reaching toward the sun instead of the lake.

Many, many years passed. The seedling had become a tree. But unlike the other trees, this tree grew sideways for several feet, about as far as three men lined up head to toe. Then she took a sharp bend and curved up, up, up, higher even than the length she stretched across the ground. Her branches reached skyward, and she spread her leaves above the vast lawn. Children climbed her branches, lovers nuzzled in her shade and elderly people sat on her horizontal trunk. The tree was happy, and this went on for many years.

Then one day someone came with a strange saw that made a loud noise and began cutting the tree into pieces. The tree wondered if this was the same child that had trampled her many years ago, all grown up now.

Soon the tree's branches lay on the ground. The graceful bend where her trunk reached skyward was gone. Her trunk -- both horizontal and vertical -- now lay in pieces no wider than a man's hand.

The next day the person came back, this time without the saw. The person gathered up the tree's twigs and branches and took them away. Only the tree's disjointed trunk remained. No one else came to the tree all that day.

The next day it rained. And the next. And the day after that, too. The tree was very lonely. Not even the sun came to see her those days.

But the next day the sun did come. Once again, the tree heard birds chirping, saw dogs running and children playing. The tree got to work reaching for the sun once more. the roots from her stump were still deep, but the sections of her once glorious trunk had no roots. She began making new ones.

Another year passed. The tree was now many trees, all clumped together. Her branches were not yet as big as they were before, but she knew that soon children would again climb them.

She just had to keep reaching for the sun.

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Keep reaching!

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