There is this oak tree in our front yard with whom I like to talk…she greets me every morning as I’m about to take my walk.


After our greeting this morning…I paused…overcome by a wave of sadness because…I don’t think I ever thanked this tree for everything she does.


When I think about this tree…any tree…how quickly I discern how a tree’s life is all about giving while asking for nothing in return.


This tree has been around forever…how long is difficult to gauge…because, as she often tells me, you don’t ask a tree it’s age.


But all this time has filled her with wisdom…in every branch and leaf and nook…wisdom she will gladly share…if one knows where to look.


Under her leaves we have found comfort…it’s where our children and grandchildren played….She helps to clean the air we breathe and has provided us with shade.


Her bark has survived all kinds of weather…winds and rains and storms…

and reminds us as we all grow older to be proud of the wrinkles that we’ve formed. 


Her roots run deep into the earth…providing her with strength and stability…and remind us how some of our most important parts are the ones we cannot see.


Her leaves not only help her grow and add to her beauty…but drop when the fall winds blow…reminding us how love is as important in holding us together…as it is in letting go.


So I went back to the thank my tree…for being so important…so valuable…and ever so beguiling….and as I walked away when I turned back to look…I could see my tree was smiling.



View joy's Full Portfolio


You may think this is a little crazy but I think of it as more carefree

When the other day I found myself having a conversation…with a tree.


This tree stands next to the ocean…and when I saw him I had to grin

There was an eerie beauty in the way he stood.

The way he was influenced by the wind.


I said, “You look a little old and weathered.”

The tree replied, “That is true….I have a few wrinkles on my bark

but then again…so do you.”


“I’ve lost most of my leaves,” he said, “as year after year has passed me by.”

I smiled as I leaned against his bark…“That’s funny…so have I.”


“But look how strong you still are,” I said,

“Even after all the storms that you’ve been through.”

The tree chuckled and I felt his laughter.

“But then again…so are you”.


“I like to think I’m still beautiful.” the tree said as he let out a deep sigh…

“Oh but you are .”I answered quickly…“and I like to think…so am I”.


“What is your secret to a full and happy life?” I asked the tree

“what do you recommend?”

“The key for me”, the tree replied “lies in my ability to bend”.


We talked a little while longer 

about our branches

About our trunks, our crowns…our roots

About how we love the wind and the rain

and other shared attributes.


As I walked away I stopped, turned around

then waved and smiled at that old tree…

And I can’t be sure but I think I saw him wave and smile back at me…


And I remember thinking as I left him gently bending by the sea….


How lucky and proud I was that day…to have a conversation with a tree.

View joy's Full Portfolio


I informed my neighbor the bad news…that her old oak tree was dying

The old woman nodded that she understood and then she started crying.


As I watched her I thought to myself how odd…how silly can this old woman be

I can’t believe she’s crying…after all…it’s just a tree.


“My husband planted that tree right after we were married” she said

“He said, like our love we’ll watch it grow…

I can’t believe it’s been so long…that was 50 years ago…”


“I suppose you think I’m crazy…and it doesn’t make much sense to you

but our children climbed her branches…our grandchildren climbed them too.”


“She’s weathered the cold of winter, her Fall colors would burst…then fade,

she’d always come back to us in Spring and in Summer she’d offer up her shade.”


“We had many a picnic under her leaves…sometimes we’d just sit and stare

at the squirrels playing hide and seek and the birds who nested there.”


“And when my husband passed away…as my tears ran down her wood

I felt her branches engulfing me…as if she understood”


“Forgive me if I cry a little…but she’s been so important to me.

We’ve been through so much together…she’s been part of my family.”


And when they came to take her tree away…I knew she’d be feeling blue

So I went to her, I held her hand and asked, “Is it’s okay if I sit with you.”


I let her cry…I let her weep…for in the stillness I could see

That old oak they were removing


was so much more than just a tree.

View joy's Full Portfolio


He loved to sit in the shade of his tree

for years that is what he would do…

never for a moment giving much thought


to how how the tree was loving it too.

View joy's Full Portfolio