The Tree and the Forest

Tree

Once upon a time there was a friendly deer who was very busy eating acorns to prepare for the long winter. It was a good year for acorns and he had his fill.

Unknown to the deer, there were so many acorns that one caught in his antler. He walked into the nearby meadow to bed down for the evening.  While the deer was sleeping, the acorn fell into the soft ground in the meadow.

Most of the acorns fell in the forest, the squirrels hid many and some began to grow into trees. Because it was crowded, the little saplings had to fight for space to grow.  The little acorn in the meadow began to grow too.

Space was abundant in the meadow and the little acorn was able to grow in freedom. Because he grew in the full sunlight, the little tree soon grew big and spread his thick branches outwards.

The trees in the forest had to compete for the crowded sunlight and all their energy went into growing tall. They didn’t have many branches. The tree in the meadow admired the forest trees reaching tall. They looked so elegant.

One summer, there were many storms. The wind blew the trees. The trees in the forest helped to stop the winds but the tree in the meadow faced the winds alone.

The winds whipped and bent the branches of the tree in the meadow. The poor tree felt he might be ripped out of the soil and he noticed how the trees in the forest were protected. He tucked down and reached deeply into the ground with his roots.

Next came the lightning. The trees in the forest woods had grown taller than the tree in the meadow and lightening hit some of them. The tree in the meadow was all alone and stuck out, so he too was struck by lightening.

The lightening scarred the trees and those that were injured needed time for healing. When the sun came out, it began to slowly heal the trees. The trees in the forest did not get as much sun as the tree in the meadow and they healed more slowly. Some did not heal and they fell.

The adversities made the tree in the meadow stronger. His roots ran deep and his branches spread out in the sun. Yes, he had a scar and was not tall and thin, but he was able to provide a home, food and shelter for many animals.

When the light is right, in the early dawn, some say you can find a deer snuggled under the tree; a descendant of the friendly deer who helped plant the little acorn in the meadow.

**********************

This story is an allegory. As an introvert, I have felt like the tree in the meadow. I didn’t ask to be planted alone, away from the forest; I was born the way I am. I didn’t know if I could handle the problems that came my way on my own, but I had to, so I did. I’m not elegant like my extrovert friends and I notice that, I admire them. I am scarred but my roots run deep, I stretch up to the light, and gratefully I fulfill my purpose helping others, right from where I am planted.

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