Like the veins of an oak leaf
nourishment flows through her, unnoticed.
Her strength is warmth and light.
Each day, she catches the dewdrops and birds find solace among her branches.
“This one is strong,” passersby say, tapping a hand on her thick trunk.
But if they could only see deeper to her innermost being,
if they could feel what she feels,
they would know of the stretching towards the sun,
the drawing from the earth,
the shock of the cold in the fall.
Her last resort is to change her colors with the season.
“Now they will see me,” she says.
The passersby look up in admiration at her beauty and this time they pause in reverence.
The rains come and go, the winds threaten her, but she remains.
In the winter, her branches sparkle with snow in the sun.
She drops some branches for the passersby to collect for firewood.
Her reign of strength and beauty flows onward.
Sweet release is found when the sun shines upon her.
Silently, she continues on.
Although the depth of her life is not known to men,
it is enough that it is known to her.
For her strength comes from the sun,
her nourishment from the earth,
and her weakness is her beauty.