When my tree first grew out of the ground it was bare, with branches that leaves still hadn't found. Over the years it grew taller and stronger. Leaves began to sprout and more branches came as more leaves came that needed to fit.
A lot of the leaves fell off with different changes of season, but some managed to cling for years. Occasionally, beautiful flowers would sprout from its branches and blossomed out, becoming more bright and beautiful as time went on. Every time a flower withered and died it was a sad experience watching it fall from the branches and hit the earth below.
My tree has had a lot of sad stories like that over the years. There have been thorns, some still clinging on that have grown in ugly formations and hurt my tree. There are marks engraved on my tree where heartaches have been scratched along its trunk by these thorns.
My tree also has had a lot of happy stories. The flowers that blossom from it make it a beautiful sight to see. All those leaves hanging on for as long as they can, sometimes blowing off with the change of wind, sometimes of their own accord and sometimes because the trees branches become too weak to hold them any longer.
My tree has experienced many harsh winter months when it's hard to keep holding onto the leaves, keeping them plentiful and alive on its branches. It has experienced many happy summer days when the sun gleams off its roots and the tree is vibrant and alive with life.
But of all the flowers, leaves and thorns on my tree there's only one thing that stayed forever with my tree. It's still there today, growing bigger, more beautiful and closer to my tree each day as time goes by. It stayed with my tree and helped it endure the harsh winter months. It stayed and added even more color and joy to those bright summer days.
My best friend is the vine that is twirled around, embracing my tree. The vine and the tree grew up together, taking turns to be the shadow from the sun and making sure the other got as much nutrients from the soil as possible. Maybe the vine and the tree grew up at different paces and in different directions. But they're still there, with each other, supporting each other in their journey to reach the sky.
Author's Note: Thank you to my best friend who has put up with me for a long eight years. I would never have the courage to climb those branches without you.