If you ask an elderly person what the oldest thing that they remember is, they might say it was their first day of school or, maybe, when they turned six years old. Sometimes it’s a place, like an old house, or a place where they went on vacation. For others it’s a food, like sandwiches eaten at snack time or their grandmother’s stews.
The old Tree also had memories. The oldest ones were very hard to remember, barely a feeling recorded in the deepest part of its oak trunk – the sun’s rays warming its green stem, when it only stood a few inches above the ground. How delightful! Letting the wind rock it back and forth when it blew and the tree was tiny. And then – of course! – its first acorn, which made it so excited!
Tree had a good childhood, and only with time did it realize that, actually, it had been lucky to survive during its early years, which are very difficult for trees. Many of them are stepped on by a cow or eaten by a sheep. Only a few survive. Tree made it and was proud of it.
It was at the point of death one summer. What a drought! Months and months without a drop of rain falling. Many plants couldn’t bear it. Luckily, by then, Tree was already a young oak full of energy.
As you can see, the life of a tree isn’t easy and, from time to time, it has to face difficult situations. Tree, terrified, had felt the tremendous heat of a nearby fire and how a miraculous rain, which arrived after a noise that crossed through the air, saved it from dying, prey to the flames. Another day it tried to appear green, very green, when chainsaws, which cut down the diseased trees of the forest, rang out nearby.
But, like that of people, the life of a tree is full of good moments that a tree should know how to enjoy. Tree loved, for example, to have all kinds of birds nesting in its branches. Their songs were the best music to Tree, and when it noticed a chick hatching from its shell, Tree would shake its leaves and make them rustle as a sign of joy. Tree was tickled by the ants when they climbed up looking for food and was greatly amused by how the squirrels went here and there through its branches. Although it could not see them, Tree also felt part of the other oak trees in the forest, and it liked when any of the animals rested in its shade.
Many years have passed since Tree first showed its head (well, its stem). Dozens of years? No. More, more. Hundreds of years? That’s for sure! Tree is now five hundred years old and is the oldest tree in the forest. It is visited not only by animals but also by curious people. Tree is happy in the forest making birds, ants, squirrels, people and everything that comes close to it happy. Because, when you approach Tree, it feels you and you can feel that you are in front of something valuable, something that takes care of you and that you should take care of, too.

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