Ages have I stood towering over this small hilltop gazing upon the ever changing scenery. Long before the first humans settled here did I first stretch my roots through the rich soil. I stood proud through the summers, my green leafy branches outstretched toward the midday sun. Through each fall did I shed my leaves upon this ground into a fresh patchwork blanket of reds and oranges, yellows and browns. My barren branches reached into the grey heavens of winter, carrying the burden of pounds of freshly fallen snow. Yet every spring was I reborn anew with buds of green and beautiful flowers that only emerge but once a year.
Long did I watch as the landscape changed around me. I saw the first people settle next to where I had laid root and under my shade did they blossom through the years. I watched as many different families came and went. I saw children mature into adults, and adults mature into the elderly. With a heavy heart, I also watched as each generation laid to rest the last.
Most recently and perhaps the longest of my residents; did I watch over the Clark family. I saw and bore shade for many years to these humans. I watched as they cared for the animals and loved one another. I was ever present as the young Clark boys blossomed into young Clark men. I watched the father toil away at the landscape in an attempt to make a better home for his children. I saw the young Clark mother bloom into a wondrous matron.
I came to know these small beings as my family, and through the years I observed their lives. I saw them come and go many times, but always they returned to call this land home once more. I lived through the years vicariously through the experiences of the ones for whom I’d grown to care. I experienced love, and heartache, loss and gain, happiness and sorrow. It is my one regret that I had to be the ever present watcher and never could I comfort my family any more than providing shade on hot summer day.
Today was the last day of my life. The day was normal, and I was standing tall. Proudly was I preparing to bud again this year. Sadly, after so many long years of standing above this hillside, my roots had become weak and weathered. With a might gust of the great North Wind, I fell with a mighty CRACK to the ground below. Though my life may be over, through my wood shall I warm my family in the cool of winter and provide the warmth of love that I had only wished I could bestow in life.
-In remembrance of a tree