While walking through the meadows of the wide and old landscape that surrounds the small town I live in, my eye gets drawn to the lonely trees scattered about. They are there. Standing tall. Or bending down a bit. Crowning high in to the sky. Or split in two by lightning years ago, yet surviving ever since. A bunch of heron’s nests make dark blobs amongst the barren branches of the withered oak. And noisy finches fetter about in lower branches of a beech that blushes into a pale green at the beginning of spring. A frail birch pretends not to be there at all and moves with the winds as if unattached to anything, just came in with the light rain just now.
The lonely tree. A real life miracle, so obvious it is easy to miss. Grown to its full potential it stands out and catches the eye. Always beautiful. It has no competition. Never had. No competition for attention. No competition for light, for nutrients, for water. Nothing. Everything and all to itself. But it did not have any shelter either. No safety in numbers. All alone it withstood weather, wind, water. It held on during rainfall. It bowed down during heavy hailstorms. It withstood the severest droughts by digging its roots deep into the soil and holding on. Just holding on.
The weather and soil shaped it as much as they sustained and fed it. Each lonely tree shaped into a jewel. A unique and precious jewel. There is no other tree like it in the world. And it is there for all to see. Withered, strong, precious, unique.
Yet fragile. As fragile as the poetic perfection of the dandelion dome. A true lonely tree does not take up space. It merely shapes space until it is time to let go.