Describing a Tree

I'll be frank. I don't know when you are reading this. I don't know who you are. I don't even know if you know who I am.

All I know is that I am out of practice. Severely out of practice.

Last year, when I was writing regularly, everything came so easily. Words would flow from my fingertips, like a... [insert proper analogy]. Now, it feels like I'm wading through sludge.

But that's OK. Skill is a matter of work ethic. A little progress every day goes a long way. It's important to focus on each individual step, otherwise I might slip and fall.

With that in mind, today I will do something simple and describe a tree to the best of my abilities. There's no story. No conflict. Just a tree.

Small patches of afternoon light flittered about on the forest floor, which was littered with needles and foliage. Below was a world teeming with life -- insects made a living within the earth and scurried about decaying plant matter. Beneath them was something far greater, a cold layer of hard stone before the planet's churning magma core, but that is certainly a story for another day. Today, we are describing a tree.

Of the many insects crawling about, there were many small ants moving upwards through wooden scales. They were all perfectly synchronous, working to bring back food for their colony. Each one was a single creature within a giant colony, and each colony was one of many, most of which were hostile towards each other. In almost every civilization known to man, whether it be in jungles or tundras, islands or deserts, there is at least one species of ant that seems to thrive. I have often wondered how such seemingly simple creatures have taken over the world, but that's a story for another day. Today, we are describing a tree.

Nestled between the base of a few branches was a small clump of pine needles that had been delicately arranged into a large bowl where a bird rested, warming her eggs. To bide her time, she was grooming her blue feathers and watching a pair of chipmunks chasing each other nearby. The father would return soon with a worm to share and then nestle with it's mate for the evening. Birds are one of many interesting anomalies in the animal kingdom where two individuals meet and form a deep, sympathetic bond for the rest of their lives. It is probably the closest any animal comes to feeling what we call "love," but that's a story for another day. Today, we are describing a tree.

The truth is that to me, a human, I find trees to be slow and lumbering giants. They grow at a pace too slow for me to fully comprehend and don't seem to do anything at all. But they allow otherwise impossible ecosystems to thrive. I could talk about what the tree is: a trunk of wood with leaves, but I would rather discuss how their roots have tilled the earth to provide food and shelter to all forms of life. For that reason alone, they are extraordinary.

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