The Tree

In a solitary field, among long golden shafts of wild grass, there stands and old tree. Its trunk is bent low, and it carries nary a leaf or bud. Once, the spirit of a guardian lived within this tree. It endowed the wooden vessel, giving it great breadth and reach as to be able to shade all would come to look upon it. The tree's branches would flower in the spring, an expression from the spirit within welcoming visitors to come lean on it's sturdy trunk.

One year, that tree was subjected to a winter unlike any other. Fierce winds tore the leaves from it's branches as a shower of red, brown, and yellow. The cold subjected the tree to it's icy, hard, and unforgiving grip. The sky opened and buried it in snowfall after snowfall. The spirit within suffered, trying to hold out, trying to hold on so it could shade visitors once again in summer.

Eventually, the guardian could take no more and fled from that tree, which withered further without the guardian's endowment. What is seen now, is all that remains of the once great tree. Visitors come now and again and wonder to where did the guardian spirit flee, and does that spirit itself yet live. None of them is sure, yet all still feel compelled to sit underneath this tree which can provide no more shade.
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