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Photo by Nerry Burg

In my dream, I was standing next to a tall tree. On the ground, very close by, was a stump. I said to the tree, “That must have been sad, to lose a fellow tree standing so close to you.”

“Yes,” said the tree. “It was there my whole life. When it was cut down, I felt the sun on that side for the first time. It was far too hot and too bright. Light fell on everything. It was so uncomfortable. All the shade loving plants that had stood in the space between us died.”

“I understand how that is,” I said. “It isn’t just the loss of a person. It is loss after loss after loss. It continues.”

“Yes,” said the tree. “Now there is a meadow on that side, spacious and green, but empty. Also, there is this.” It showed me several newer branches that had formed on one side. “These could not have been here before.”

“Oh,” I said. “I had not thought of that.  New branches growing.”

“Yes,” said the tree. “And what will eventually grow in the meadow now that the sun reaches the ground? I still don’t know.”