The Giving Tree

Every morning for three weeks, I practiced the same ritual: get out of bed, open window drapes, peer down onto streets below. As the sun rose over the flat horizon of Broward County, I gazed over the city and admired my view from the top.

During one of my first mornings, I noticed a large tree, which stood across the way on the street below. Immediately, I was drawn to its branches, its wingspan, its posture. 

Its mere presence soothed my stressed soul, as it brought to mind memories of my own home garden back in California. (For me, a perfect weekend includes getting down and dirty with the soil of the earth and planting something new to grow.)

With each passing day, I caught myself staring blankly at this tree. Sometimes it took me by surprise, while other times I purposely studied the formation of the roots and the extension of branches, as if I were a botanist and it was my thesis. 

I took note of how the branches stretched into the sunshine; how the roots grew strong into the ground; how the leaves blew in the wind and swayed back and forth from the coming and going of street traffic.  

The Florida rain kept my massive tree clean and green, constantly flushing the toxins and germs from its soil and foundation.

It wasn’t until my last day in Florida that I made time to walk across the road and admire the tree up close and personal. The impression I took away will stay with me forever.

Above: From a distance

Above: The roots; Below: More roots


3 thoughts on “The Giving Tree

  1. Welcome Home, Ryan. Loved your story of The Giving Tree. My father was a farmer and my mother loved the earth, she often said it brought her comfort in troubled times. She loved the feel of its ‘realness’ in her hands. If we returned to our gardens perhaps our souls would be less troubled during these troubled time. Peace!


  2. Ryan!! So glad to “hear” from you again. I’ve missed your blogs. Hope you are home finally 🙂

    That is a beautiful tree. Reminds me of “the tree of life”

    Warm Regards,


  3. Your story was so inspiring and calming. The tree looked nothing like it did up close…don’t judge a tree’s age from a distance. Welcome back Ryan.


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