At somewhere around the age of 50 I began to remember my very first friends.
For my younger years, many weekends were spent up north at our cabin in the woods. In the front of the cabin was a river, and the backyard was all woods. I could play in the back all by myself but could only go out front if supervised.
Trees were the first to listen to me, without interruption, advice, or judgment.
The first to accept me as I am.
To calm me simply with their presence.
They give the best silent advice, allowing you to figure it out from within.
Looking back I realize they never tried to be anything other than what they were. They remained solid, strong, truthful always.
They didn't try to make me like them or try to be something they were not, just to fit in.
They didn't change themselves when someone new came along, so they could impress.
They didn't say all the right things to make me happy then turn their backs on me when things got rough.
They didn't be nice to my face and say mean things about me when I left.
They never tried to make themselves feel better by making me feel bad, or by judging me, or comparing me to others, or ridiculing me.
They remained loyal even when I strayed. Even when I made mistakes.
They held space for me. That is what true friends do.
We should all be more like trees. Like the kind of friend a tree is.
After nearly 50 years I have come back to my tree friends, and I am grateful they have quietly been awaiting my return.
If is as if no time (and all time) has passed since I have spoken to them.
Years of life lessons have made me wiser, and also shown me how little I really understand.
The trees hold many answers. After all they remain rooted in this earth long after we leave it.
We should all strive to be friends like trees.