The Oak Tree

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oak tree bench

An old painter would come and sit on a park bench everyday for hours, rain or shine, beneath a massive oak tree. Taking out his sketch-pad, he would draw the oak, again and again but placed in different settings with ever-changing perspectives, styles, and moods. Sometimes, the tree stood impressive, towering above the land as if contending with the center of the world. Other-times, the tree was bent but never broken as it struggled against the elements. Always, the tree remained true as it reached for the stars.

One day, a young woman who also frequented the park approached the painter to ask what was special about the oak tree. The painter turned to the woman and sensed a likeness like an echo from a distant past that found its way back. Sensing the affinity, he replied that he married his beloved underneath this oak tree but had lost her to a long bout with cancer. In his old age, he began losing memories of her, even forgetting what her face looked like at times. The young woman, feeling the painter’s sentimentality, asked if she could pose to help keep-alive memories of his wife. The painter nodded, took out his colors, and started painting.

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