The Tree

After a sudden death in the family, we drove up to our lake house. Shortly after the arrival I found myself on  boat, which is odd because I am not a boat head, I am however a good sport.

Not long after the boat trip began is when I saw it, a  beautiful tree. It was an old red spruce, stick straight, standing alone near the water. Leaning at a beautiful, melancholy angle.

I ventured round the lake to the tree daily, during our stay.  In the morning and evening. It always looked perfect, like a tree a child might draw. Its shaded-out branches, now dead, were still hanging there like memories.

During my trips to the tree, as I stared at it, amid grief it seemed to say something specific: growing old can be frightening. But age can be marvelous.

On my final trip to the tree as I walked along the pebble shore, I looked at several trees surrounding the tree and saw they were dying to. Although none were as beautiful as the old spruce, it brought me joy knowing he hadn’t aged alone. I walked back to the house in peace knowing,  I wasn’t alone in my grief either.


Henry Ludbrook
Kerikeri High School