White Christmas Tree

July 25, 2011
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After running around a huge scout camp for several days, I moaned when my leader told my troop that we were going on a hike. It's not that we were all that tired, it's just that we had been rushing from class to class all day and never had a time to relax and chat. After much persuading, my friends and I prepared to leave, but not without bursts of complaint every so often.

We soon arrived at a trail-head. Our leader said that the hike would only be about a mile, but still, before long people were falling behind. Trying to ignore the whining scouts, I surveyed the woodland. The trail gently wove through a woody landscape, full of pearly quaking aspens and the occasional pine. Little flowers of every color speckled the grass on either side of the path. A cool evening breeze rustled leaves, and the setting sun put a soothing aura on the land. I could hear the rare squawk of some unseen wild bird. If not for the rowdy boys following a few yards behind me, the forest would have been breathtakingly peaceful.

At one point along our hike, we crossed through a lone gate into a more untamed area. By now, I was quite far ahead of the other boys and my leaders who were trying to hurry them up. I was glad to be away from their obnoxious noises.

Just when I heard one of my leaders yelling for me to turn around and head back to camp, I stepped around a corner and saw a tree. Of course I had seen hundred of trees besides, but this one caught my attention. In a little clearing off to the right of the trail, highlighted by a fading ray of golden sunlight, stood a little pine tree. It stood nearly five feet tall and was the most perfect, round shape. It would have made for a beautiful Christmas tree, expect for that it was as white as snow. Even though it was obviously dead, it was strikingly attractive in its evening light. The whole scene seemed to glow.

My leaders began to yell even louder to me. Still with my eyes on the tree, I turned back down the track. I was still thinking upon that lonely, flawless pine as I rejoined my group of unruly friends.

It's been over a year since I've seen that tree, but I wish to see it again. If only to embed its image even more firmly into my mind. I find its strange how most things in nature come to us as almost boring when we've seen them again and again. But when I find something so different from its surroundings, as the White Christmas Tree was, it is hard to forget it. People can be like that too, the ones who can stand out of the crowd and are not afraid to stand alone are the ones people will remember. So try to be a White Christmas Tree.





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