My life began as the tiniest sprout in the middle of a vast field of fertile soil mid-spring. My branches were soon big and long, bearing flowers bright and colorful.
for people to cherish and shade themselves from the insensitive heat that bore down on them for hours. The tones and reflections of my leaves produced a light that amassed a growing wave of bypassers who would stop to enjoy what I had to give. The birds would use my sturdy branches to house their born and unborn. The squirrels would peek their heads out of the hole that I’d formed at the base of the tree. The humans would pluck a flower or two from the tips of my branches for their lover that accompanied them. I provided shelter. I provided happiness. I provided love. My friends continued to come back, letting me know that I was there and that they needed me. They showed me that I brought a bit of liveliness to their world. Suddenly, before I could notice, winter came. It came with force, with a sharp slap of cold to my body that broke me down bit by bit. The gray sky turned my vast array of colors to one strikingly monotonous glob of pale brown. My branches that were once firm and long began to quiver and shrink. Day by day, it unapologetically hid those who once loved me away from the field. I waited for a sign, a glimpse of hope that I would return to what I once was; soon the nightmare of harsh cold and tormentous solitude would be over. I waited for my friends to return. Finally, the familiar warmth returned, but only with a small layer that still left me with a cold interior. My branches still quivered as they struggled to lift themselves up and reach outwards again. My leaves and flowers were tiny and visibly duller than the year before. No people came to my field anymore. A few bypassers here and there would lift their heads for just a moment to produce dry smile, but they only seemed to notice me when I rustled my leaves at some unpredictable moment. I had to let them know that not all of me was lost during that dreadful winter, but I no longer stood as tall and as brilliant as before. I tried to reach anyone, with no success. Then, winter came fast once again, this time with an even longer presence than the last. It left me naked in shame, and my insides turned to ice. As I waited with my last sliver of anxious optimism for the spring to come once more, for a new flower to bloom and blossom into something that would catch some curious eye, the cruel winter wind shook me left and right, back and forth. At last, l I finally realized that the new chapter would never come.