I sit listening to the stories on the wind, soaking up the warm sunlight with my leaves.
I sense a small tug and look down to see my earth child swing into my lower branches.
I say my because I have watched her grow, held her when no one would, listened when
no one could, protected her when no one could. She clears my branches of the dead pieces
and climbs higher, crying and hurt I notice. She slips and I move a branch, only enough
for her to reach. She grabs it and sits, shaking for a few moments before continuing to climb
till she reaches the four braches where she lays and cries herself to sleep.
As she sleeps I remember. I remember the first time she climbed me, then years later as she
dared climb higher to the spot she lay now. The days she spent reading, or listening to me.
Understanding I was telling her a story, hearing what I said somewhere deep inside while I tell
her in the language only the children can hear, telling her stories only the trees can tell.
I remember how I hid her from the world and reality, shielding her from those who would seek
her out only to hurt her. Remembering how she realized that they wouldn't climb for fear of
falling and we laughed together.
Remembering how she played among my branches, swinging from limb to limb, upside down,
letting go with her knees, only to catch her hands on the limb below, scaring the others who
dared not climb, even to my lowest branches.
As I remember, she remembers in her sleep. She awakens and smiles, sitting up. She hugs me
and in my own way, I hug her back. She slowly climbs down and tells me that she will come back
soon. She sits on the bottom branch and lets her momentum carry her till she hangs like the little
furry flying creatures that like to roost in my bows, and then she laughs. She flips and lands on her
I laugh to, and hope she never grows too old to sit with me and listen to the stories on the wind.