The Tree by Laura Crawford

There is a tree on my street,

That is majestically beautiful.

Its trunk is thick and warm,

And although it is solitary and stationary

Somehow, it reminds me of a grandmother’s hug.


It illustrates the effects of time, wrinkles shown in the roughness of the bark.

Lives transcribed in the gnarls of the body.

The type of beauty only wisdom and experience offer.

The branches stretch out, tapering at the ends as if they were fingers trying to reach out to people. Absorbing whatever negativity it can and projecting all the love possible for a tree. The tree is trying to wake our hearts, the hearts that have become guarded to cope with the pain of past experience.

We do not speak the language of the trees, yet on any given day in any given mood I would approach that tree – the backdrop of the sky illuminating its presence.

The wind blows, rustling the leaves as if to create a whisper.

There are no words, and yet I can feel the tree telling me something.

I can feel it in my soul.

What is it trying to tell me? This is not to be asked, for the question takes magic away from the experience. The tree is suggesting only one thing.

Look inside. Look inside. Look at the beauty, the light, the perfection that you are.

At that moment nothing else matters.

Oneness. Connectedness.

This beautiful, magnificent, wise old perfect being is trying to mirror you so that you may see. So that you may remember. Remember who you are, and who you are meant to be.

This message, which even our most loved ones have not been able to communicate to us, is a gift to be applied to our lives. But is this the only reason the tree captivates our attention? No. This tree with its beautiful tapered branches, its elegant fall of leaves serves to teach us more.

We all wear makeup or clothes or accessories to show who we are, or who we want to been seen as. Are we trying to draw attention to ourselves or trying to hide?

Perhaps both.

So this tree shows us more.

The branches and leaves were like waves of ringlets falling softly, framing and highlighting the beauty of the tree. The natural beauty that few possess, or perhaps that few allow to be seen.

The men came. They chopped branches to stubs. They stripped her naked, removing her leaves and carelessly tossing her wood to the ground.

I was there. I saw it happen.

Feeling helpless I held back tears and sorrow for my beloved tree.

And as the stoic beauty that she is, she allowed it to happen. She gave her wood and leaves to the men, allowing them to take what they wanted from her. Did she do this out of kindness, or a compassionate level of understanding? Maybe.

From this experience she is able to teach one more lesson before winter.

Her message is available to anyone who looks, who truly looks at her.

At first glace it looks “ugly”. She is different than the others on the street.

She is wood.

Sharp-edged harsh wood.

But if you look closer you see that she is even more beautiful than before. By removing the makeup, the pruning, the leaves that shade her – you see her.

You see her.

Naked and strong. She allows her strength to be shown

She does not ask, she does not take,

She gives.

She makes the best of her situation.

But most of all, she lives and she lives unapologetically.

Now I can really see her wrinkles, see how wise she truly is. I can almost feel all that she has seen.

The births,

The deaths,

The laughter,


The tears.

They have become part of her and she wishes to share that.

One day I will be that tree.