The tree outside my window saw the seasons of this year. As the new leaves flourished it gave way to a wall of green. It played host to countless creatures. From the proud blue jays that perched on top, to the meek little sparrows that hid deep inside, and the red cardinals and gold finches, they all brought joy and an added spectacle to each day. The giant hawk that flew overhead, the skunk and fox that ran past, the squirrels that nervously visited too, they're all memories of the year of this tree.
I tossed much bread and seed its way, only to feed the tenants, and to watch them engage outside my window. I guess I too played a part in the year of this tree. As the year pasted the leaves turned. A fiery orange, yellow and red, and as the winter approached they said goodbye to the tree. Little by little the branches gave up their leaves. Sometimes the winds and cold took large groups to the ground. Other times, in the stillness and calm the leaves simply let go and floated downwards, as if to surrender after claiming victories over the storms. The visitors have long disappeared. The tree has lost importance this late in the year and is only a memory to the crowd that once appeared.
Every day I stared out my window to see a new version of the tree. The past few weeks I could count the leaves; a dozen or so remained relentlessly true. Finally, just one remained; one single leaf from the multitude it now stood alone and determined to be singled out. For days I gazed through the kitchen window and noticed this sight. This morning, the tree was again different, and it took me a while to notice that the bareness was complete, a little less alive, this dormant tree had finally given away its last remaining comrade. It was only one leaf but it made such a difference to how I viewed this old tree.
I wondered how such a sturdy tree could continue giving it all up, year after year, but continue to grow if only in small measures. For all its life energy, it remains asleep and grounded for life, yet it's packed with faith. It cannot seek shelter nor extend its own life. It cannot complain or demand sympathy. It is patience exemplified. Although silent, the tree is still busy; alive with the hope and expectation for the next thaw, another year, another chance for growth.
This year my desire is to learn from this tree. I wish for the strength and endurance, the patience and persistence, the tolerance and acceptance to all life's visitors, and for hope and faithful expectation for another year. During this holiday season I want to thank those who have been a part of my growth, those who have endured and struggled, and those who thrived and prospered. All have a special place in my heart.
Merry Christmas...Happy holiday season....and a healthy and prosperous new year... Sergio DePinto