upon a time just a few years ago, a little pine tree stood in the
deep forest, isolated and naked. He wondered aloud why he was so small
and skinny while a big pine tree standing just several feet away had
so many full and lusty branches. With a gentle smile, the big tree
said, "Son, I am your mother and not to worry, one day, you will look
just like me."
The little tree doubted that, for he could not imagine being as fancy
as his mother when everyone could see that he would always be scant
and spindly, with the wind blowing right through his sparse branches,
as though he wasn't even there. Why was he different from the others
in the forest?
"Never mind that," said his mother when the little tree asked why
that was, "for you are my son and you have a higher calling," and
she would say nothing more about it.
"What kind of calling?" the little tree asked, but no answer came.
It was a quandary all right, and the little tree pondered the whys
of life every day. Still, no answer came. And then in the darkness
of a December night while he slept, the answer was revealed.
the morning when the little tree awakened, he felt peculiar. He didn't
know why, he just felt peculiar. "Take a look at yourself," said his
mother, and he looked down. "Wow," he exclaimed, when he saw that
he was adorned with shiny spheres of red, blue, green, silver and
gold. There was even a tiny angel dangling from one of his boughs,
and little tinkling bells were scattered here and there. By turning
this way and that, being careful not to dislodge any of the glittering
objects, he read words on the decorations. "Chloe," said one, "Daddy,"
said another, "Max" said the angel. Were these calls to some higher
power? He looked up to ask his mother and was delighted to find her
bedecked with even more finery than he had, so much of it that she
tilted with the weight. The little tree saw that now, on this special
day, his mother had been right — he really did look like her. On her
lowest bough hung a note:
Thank you for letting us communicate with our loved ones who are spending
Christmas in Heaven
"Mommy," said the little tree, "If Christmas bells tinkle in the forest
and there's no one around to hear them, do they make a sound?" "Yes,
son," said the mother. "How do you know? asked the little tree." "Because
the tinkle is not the question, the tinkle is the answer."
"A Balloon In Cactus" December
19 , 2014 column
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