When I was a kid, some people called me ‘different’, others called me ‘troubled’, adults and children alike. For the most part, I considered myself a typical tomboy. As a teenager, I was extremely innocent, and that led to having very few female friends (because I wasn’t interested in boy-chasing) and hanging out with several guy buddies with whom I enjoyed playing basketball.

At the age of fifteen, I still considered my biggest thrill to be climbing to the top of a massive tree that towered over our expansive front yard. In my darkest teenage hours, I’d nestle down into the arms of its branches. Sometimes I’d hide away from what frightened me; at others I’d ponder life, my future, and what my purpose might be in this confusing world. That tree became a lifeline for me; familiar, safe, comforting.

To this day, I have a special place in my heart for trees. I revel in the texture of their bark, feel rejuvenated in Spring by the blooming of their leaves, savor the brilliance they give us in Autumn, and lose myself in the Winter white layers that gather in the nooks of their branches.

I didn’t have to wander far to find the lifelong friends I wanted to include in this post. It is so very easy to take our every day surroundings for granted. Whether they are stout, petite, twisted, full, or bare, I can’t imagine myself ever tiring of these works of art in nature.