A Tree Like Me

January 17, 2011
By , Columbia, PA
A squeal mixed with fear and delight fills the soft summer air as the little girl is pushed by her daddy on the swing hanging from their giant Elm tree. Her heart is pounding in her chest, and every time she looks down at her three older sisters laughing and waving below her, she feels her belly twist and her heart lurch into her throat. He pushes her higher, and higher, until she can stretch out her skinny legs to tap the lowest branch, hovering thirty-five feet above the ground.

When the swing finally slows to a stop and the little girl is lifted up and spun around by her adoring father, she is overcome by that feeling of love and belonging. He sets her down and her sisters crowd around, hugging her and jumping up and down, begging to be the next one to receive a push.

The little girl, now sixteen, opens her eyes and gazes up at the massive tree. Although it is now withered and knotted, it still stands tall, branches reaching up to the clear, blue sky overhead.

Sometimes when the demands of life become overwhelming and she is desperate for an escape, she wanders outside and sits on the hill overlooking her special tree. She can still remember leaping from the swing into a pile of dry, fallen leaves, hearing them crackle under her weight like a newly opened bag of potato chips, and allowing her giggles to pierce the crisp, autumn air.

Although she and her sisters have grown up, and life is too busy for a swing ride from her daddy, the happy memories that flood her mind when she takes the time to remember are enough to warm her heart and brighten her spirits.

To her, the tree still represents love, laughter, and the sweet innocence of childhood. It still brings out the little girl in her, the one that giggles over simple things like catching snowflakes on her tongue or picking apple blossoms in the spring to give to her mom.

The tree also represents change. One branch from the tree is now gone, torn off in a violent wind storm. The swing hangs slightly crooked, the chains holding it up now rusted, and the mighty, tall trunk of the tree is old and bent.

However, the tree is a reminder that though the winds and storms of life may continue to beat a person down, deep roots and a solid foundation will keep them standing. For the little girl, her roots are grounded in the Holy Bible, its God-breathed words always giving her strength and pushing her forward towards her eternal destiny, in heaven with her one True Love. Her solid foundation is a close-knit family that has loved and supported her for sixteen years, and that she can be certain will continue to do so for all the years to come.





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