There was once a tree in the forest who felt very sad and lonely for her trunk was hollow and her head was lost in mist. Sometimes, the mist seemed so thick that her head felt divided from her trunk. To the other trees she appeared quite strong but rather aloof, for no wind ever bent her branches to them. She felt if she bent she would break yet she grew so tired of standing straight. So it was with relief that, in a mighty storm, she was thrown to the ground. The tree was split, her branches scattered, her roots torn up and her bark was charred and blackened.

She felt stunned, and thought her head was clear of the mist she felt her sap dry as she felt her deadness revealed when the hollow of her trunk was open to the sky. The other trees looked down and gasped and didn't quite know whether to turn their branches politely away or whether to try to cover her emptiness and blackness with their green and brown. The tree moaned for her own life and feared to be suffocated by theirs. She felt she wanted to lay bare and open to the wind and the rain and the sun, and that, in time, she would grow up again, full and brown from the ground. So it was, that, with the wetness of the rain, she put down new roots and by the warmth of the sun she stretched forth-new wood.

In the wind her branches bent to other trees and as their leaves rustled and whispered, in the dark and in the light, the tree felt loved and laughed with life.
*Written as a birthday present for R. D. Laing