It stood so tall and proud, like it always had. Its leaves so green, like a giant blanket to protect what it held inside. The branches like an upturned hand to hold the many thoughts that it had heard, reached wide, as if to make room for many. I had visited so many times before and this tree, the ‘Friendship Tree’, knew most of the thoughts that I had ever had. Always the child in me would sit and ponder, on my own or with a friend. Until now, my lovely Rose had not been there with me. She had always wanted to see what it held, yet I was never sure that she may be ready. You see the tree has to protect itself and long ago I earned its trust. For that I became the guardian of the tree and the ‘Book of Dreams’ that is hidden within it.
This day as we stood some distance away, she gazed in awe at how majestic it was. I had told her so much, yet so little, that it was not until now that she could really understand it for what it was. When we reached the tree, I climbed the first branch as I usually did and as I turned I sensed her apprehension, and watched as she took a step back. This was never going to be easy, but I knew in my heart that the tree was a wonderful place and she would find it so wonderful inside. I held out my hand and smiled my usual reassuring smile. She knew I loved her and that I always had and with this she reached for me and I lead her to a place where I would often sit.
The branch was worn smooth, for I had been here many times and she sat next to me like no other had before, which was so wonderful in itself, because I could feel the love from within her beautiful heart touching mine. As she turned to look through the leaves, she realised that the view was so unique. You see, from the tree, what is seen is not what exists on the outside, it is what the heart and mind combined want to see. Today we saw the most glorious mountains, with stone walls like veins running here and there. High on top, there was an old castle, the sign of strength and power. Birds danced from tree to tree in the magic forest that surrounded the hill, and a cool clear brook ran softly over the worn stone bottom, frequently tapping on the pebbles like the tiny tinkling keys on the smallest piano.
We talked for what seemed like forever and before we climbed down, she asked about the ‘Book of Dreams” which I had so many times before spoken about. I told her that today she had seen the most wonderful things and that each day she would have a different sight to see. I explained that not even I had looked inside the ‘Book of Dreams’ on my first day, and that I had to pass the second test that the tree would put before her one day, before that would happen. You see, to look inside the book of dreams, your thoughts must be pure, you may not judge, and most of all you must let the child within be free. She was sad, but as so many times before, I held her face in my hands and looked into her beautiful eyes and told her that I would always love her. I would always protect her and that when the time was right, I would be there with her when she is ready, and we would look inside the ‘Book of Dreams’ together.
When we finally climbed down from the tree and our feet shuffled through the carpet of blue-white daisies that covered the ground below, we walked together at last as one with what the world had to offer. There were many more adventures and dreams to share, with time always on our side. You see, in the tree, one does not grow old, one just becomes wiser. The ‘Book of Dreams’ would always be there waiting, and more excitedly I knew that the hidden door that only children can see would one day open, and then, she would fully appreciate how magical this tree really is.