I wrote this unique story — and turned it into a simple keepsake book — as a gift for two sisters who wanted to give their oldest sister something special for her 40th birthday. Expressing one’s honest admiration and love for another is the best kind of gift.
In a simple clearing two seeds sprouted, one after the other. The first thing they spotted when they pushed through the ground was a little sapling growing straight and proud nearby.
“We want to be just like her!” they sang, pushing down roots and stretching toward the sun with all their might. The First Tree smiled at them, her small leaves waving wildly for the new seedlings to follow her.
And so the three trees bloomed together, the smaller two watching the First Tree with reverence as the years passed.
They saw how she didn’t shrink from a storm, instead gathering the cold water to feed her roots. They watched her nurture those who flocked to her, producing acorns for squirrels and safe havens for birds that nested in her branches.
She was unique, creative and beautiful. She was everything they wanted to be.
Sometimes it was hard growing next to the First Tree. She was fair and tall and strong. Her branches seemed to bloom with more leaves, soak up more sun, and find clever ways to accommodate more birds.
But the First Tree tried mightily to shoulder the brunt of any passing storm. Her branches didn’t block the sun; they merely pointed the way toward it. And her falling leaves fertilized the ground for the other two.
One day the little trees realized they were big, nearly as big as the First Tree. They had grown fair and tall and strong too! Yet they still looked up to the First Tree, for her branches held the most soulful songbirds, and her leaves whistled bravely when the wind flowed through her.
Now full grown, the three trees are differently shaped but similar in spirit. In the fall, the First Tree’s leaves become fiery red. The other two have embraced their own autumn hues — one burns bright orange, the other warm yellow. Each is beautiful in itself, a gift from Mother Nature.
But together! Together they are magnificent, a rainbow painted with God’s own hand. Red, Orange, Yellow, a stand of trees grown so close their branches and roots intertwine, each one admiring the others. It’s hard to tell which roots are deepest, whose branches were first to graze the clouds.
But the two little trees, who aren’t so little anymore, remember when the First Tree was everything they wanted to be. And they thank God for her.