The Tree and I This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 8, 2009
The sun warmed my skin as I gracefully glided across the grass. My feet touched every bristle, tickling them ever so slightly. The world seemed to be laughing in all directions.

I made my way down alongside the house. The grass was cool, almost damp in the shadow of the house as I made my way toward the tree. It is a very old tree; its base much wider than any arms could reach around. It roots twisted through the ground, popping up in odd places. Carefully I balanced along each root, making my way toward the trunk. A large branch of bright, green leaves hovered over me like a giant cloud.

My fingers touched the trunk; it’s rough, cracked exterior hiding the sensitive insides. I felt along the wide branch I sat in many years ago. Upward, the trunk seemed to go on forever, all the branches like arms reaching out to some distant object not quite within its reach. Only a moment passed as a cool wind shook the leaves, a wispy rustle coming to my ears.

I yearned to climb it again, like I did so long ago. My feet are weak and bare, unsuitable for climbing. My shoes were just inside. But yet, I didn’t want to break the moment of serenity. It seems almost too surreal, as if nothing but the tree and I existed.

A sweet song of a bird came to me. I glanced up the trunk, hoping to see a little robin perhaps. But the song floated away, as the bird made his way elsewhere to the bigger and better things he must do.

As for me, the moment of serenity was gone as reality sunk in again. It was Sunday, school the next day, and time slowly ticking away as I stand holding the tree so dearly. So, I cautiously made my way back along the roots, into the cool, damp grass, and back up into the front yard, the sun beaming down again onto my skin. A moment like this is not found in any exotic place, discovered by famous people, or thought up of by many well-known writers. It is something we all can find; a peace within us all that is sometimes no further, than one's own backyard.

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