She watched herself age in the reflection year after year. Not every year stands out in her memory clearly, but moments do.
The first time she realized that she was tall enough to catch a glimpse of herself in the water. Oh the excitement she felt!
The year she realized that she was tall enough and her branches full enough to give shade to the deer of the field. Such a wonderful feeling of being needed!
Then were the years she welcomed her very own seedlings. The pride as they grew! And the sadness as some couldn’t. With this time came the realization that most things were not in her control. She didn’t like that knowledge.
She grew through the seasons of rain and sun and rested through the snow and cold. Each spring she anticipated the ice melting so she could once more see her reflection and all of it’s exciting changes. Getting older was so much fun she told herself.
Then came the year that she noticed that several of her branches didn’t sprout as usual. They bothered her all summer as she anxiously examined them in her reflection. In the back of her mind she knew what was happening. After all, she had watched it happen to some of her closest friends. The knowledge didn’t make it any easier though. That year she welcomed the snow that covered up her looking-glass and hid the truth.
The next couple of years found her less joyful as she tried to cope with the changes taking place. It took up so much of her time that she wasn’t able to notice at first how the changes had slowed. She wasn’t able to find happiness in the simple things that used to bring her joy. Time was moving though, whether she found joy in it or not.
Then came the year that she couldn’t help but notice the bird family that moved into her branches and raised their happy family or the duck family that used her drooping branches as protection for their precious ones. The fall even found her with a muskrat family burrowed at her base. Slowly she found the sun was starting to shine again.
With her new friends, she found her joy and purpose once more. They were there with her as year after year found her less and less able to offer shade but more and more able to offer other things.
A quiet place to sit and just be. A friend always willing to listen and never judge. A story-teller for those willing to close their eyes and imagine the possibilities of what was.
She is still a continual reminder that age doesn’t take away usefulness and that joy is a choice. She likes to tell her friends that there are times when happiness doesn’t come easily, but if you are willing to search for it you’re guaranteed to find it.
Love from here,