The Giving Tree

“Once there was a tree... and she loved a little boy” so Shel Silverstein’s familiar old story goes. What is it about this beloved story that simply makes anyone [with a heart] melt? Perhaps it’s the simple truths in it; perhaps it’s the fact that there are so many people out there who, like me, have been in the place of the tree.

An adoring tree who gives all she’s got just to try and make her little boy happy, as long as he’s satisfied, we’re happy… but not really. We realize that although he comes to depend on us, and we love him wholly, all he wants is what we can give. What then? What happens when he takes the last bit of anything we can give and it’s still not enough? He leaves his tree and sails away with what remains of her and she’s left alone, confused and feeling like she just wasn’t good enough. It’s when the boy comes back that we find out what the tree will do next. By the end of the story the boy seems to realize what’s been in front of him all his life: a tree, loving him and denying herself… What makes the tree willing to take him back and show him love? Compassion. What about when my little boy comes back asking for my friendship again? I don’t know. I am, after all, just the stump of what used to be a glorious tree.

No comments:

Post a Comment