The Lonely Little Tree looked out across the freshly fallen snow. His friend the Lonely Little Star would visit soon and he couldn’t wait. Soon the night he waited for would come and his first but not only friend would come down from the heavens, she had never failed to come.
The Tree was now tall and healthy and green. There were nests that nestled in branches and a badger had dug a home at his feet and Elen’s reindeer had already come around this year.
The Tree was getting a bit anxious about whole thing. The snow was not as thick as it should be and it wasn’t as cold as it should be. It was getting warmer and warmer every winter.
Bears who should have been sleeping like his friend Bjorn were wandering around. The snow shoe hares that should have changed to a white coat already were now changing before the snow came and that wasn’t good since then they stood out against the ground.
Other trees now grew within his sight, he no longer stood alone out on the snowy plain.
The Tree worried about his friends as he watched the Aurora weave through the sky in beautiful bright colours. Why were things changing? He had lived a very long time now. He had a wide strong trunk and he was firmly and deeply rooted but were the other trees? Did their roots go deep enough to reach the receding waters. He wondered about so many things as he listened to wind move through the quiet wood.
So he looked to the sky and he watched the beauty of the twisting shifting Aurora. He loved to see the colours of the Northern Lights, the greens and blues and sometimes if he was very lucky shades of brilliant red. Sometimes it looked like a shifting wall of light, sometimes other shapes scrolled across the lengthening night’s sky. Astra had told him it was from winds that came from the Sun but he didn’t care it was beautiful and for a while he forgot his worries.
He simply was. He was shelter. He was a sturdy home and a good friend. He was shade on warm sunny day in summer and when the snow piled up he was a warm shelter the animals around could dig into deeply. He knew things were changing and he didn’t know why. He just knew he would stand as long as he could. And he would wait for his friend, Astra and their yearly visit.
His friend, Astra had taught him many things, to be patient, that is was okay to be alone sometimes. And for one night a year to be a light in the darkness, to be a bright spot for the friends around him.
And then the one night something wondrous happened, Aurora came to visit him!
The winding, twirling tapestry of light lightly touched down in front of him. The Lonely Little Tree watched in wonder as Aurora shifted.
“Welcome!” cried the Lonely Little Tree.
“Hello, and thanks,” said a soft voice, “Blessed Solstice!”
“And blessings to you, replied the excited tree! What brings you down from the sky?”
“The Solar wind and the sky Goddess.” laughed the Aurora.
“I bring love, and light and a warning.”
“And warning?” whispered the Lonely Little Tree, “What about?”
“Things are changing as they always have. It’s going to get very hard before it gets better and probably very scary for everyone.”
” But someday it will get better?” asked the Tree.
“Hopefully,” said the Aurora thoughtfully.
“What can I do?” asked the Tree.
“Simply be who you are. Stand fast, care for others, protect those who need it and can’t protect themselves.”
” But I do that already,” replied the Tree.
“I know,” said the Aurora, “But now it’s even more important. And the only real thing we have that will last is love.”
” Just love?” the Tree asked.
“Love and all things that go with it. The actions we take because we love will always make things better.” The Aurora twirled a bit in the northern stillness and silence while the little Tree thought about what the Aurora had said.
“I can do that,” he thought, “I can be a refuge, I can provide food, I can be for others. I can love and I can live.”
While he was thinking Aurora had twirled back up into sky and was shining brightly. Her colours of green, and blue and red rippling across the sky in beautiful ribbons and bands.
The Lonely Little Tree was still a worried but now he felt he could do something and that made all the difference in the world.