It is an otherworldly afternoon. Raindrops of light filter slowly through the leaves, then their beams angle straight down upon the earth illuminating one small piece of forest; each ray casts an aura of eternity and all-encompassing beauty upon the world … As I continue along the trail, my body in motion but my soul transfixed, the light of a falling sun bears down upon me, fixing my shadow upon the earth. I round a bend and the shadow stretches out before me yearning to reach that which I cannot comprehend. The diagonal and sloping wonderment of late afternoon shadows in the woods astonishes; as I stare up at looming trees, each one beautiful and unique, strong and fixed upon the earth, secure and fulfilling their intended purpose without worry or discontentment, I sense that there is more wonder, more childlike awe held in this setting than all the works of Shakespeare, whether put together by chimpanzees or not. The wind rustles, trees creak and groan, a squirrel bounds away from his friend (lover?) and a stream approaches to my left.
Driving on a highway, flat, paved, and all human, all construction, I took an exit, turning a full cycle to simply go left, and observed three trees. The first was fully leaved, green and vibrant, a testament to life; the second was emblazoned with fierce reds and oranges and solid yellows, even as it was dying and suffering it oozed beauty and showed that there was meaning in pain; the third, however, was bare, its branches casting jagged shadows upon the first two trees, its stark nakedness and lack of life mirroring my own mood on the day. The only counsel it could give was the memory and hope of a forthcoming spring.
Now my question is, since it was winter, which tree was healthy and in touch with reality?