The ocean could hear his mournful sigh, carried to him by wind.

“Why me God!” he softly sobbed as calmer winds softly played with his limbs. It was full moon that night, the bridge from moon to earth was formed, fairies came down to earth, they scattered all around. They played with flowers and trees all night long and returned at dawn.

None came to him, ever.

Why will they? The powerful gusts ripped off the leaves at bud, forget about fruits and flowers. They have tried to decorate him in the first few years but now they have given up.

Someone walked his way this night, she was not a fairy. She was made of pure light, a soothing calm light.

“Tell me, what’s in your heart my dear? What’s tormenting you?” she sat down underneath him, her soft light made him glow like a magic tree.

“Why me?” he moaned. “No bird ever builds their nests on my branches. They knew the violent winds will rip them away, like they rip away the leaves, buds and flowers, fruits don’t even form, or seed! My branches are gnarled and ugly, always fighting the wind!”

“But they sit down on your branches to recover their breath, to ease their tiredness and talk with you. Don’t they?” She asked, “They tell you stories of the places, where thousands of trees live together, full of leaves, flowers, fruits, how they give home to the birds and other creatures.”

“Those stories break my heart!” The tree sighed bitterly, “Why did God curse me like this?”

“It was not God that ripped you away from your mother and placed you here. It was a ferocious storm! We thought you will not germinate, but you did. You became a symbol of courage to us.”

“We watched you every day, the way you braved all the storms in their full fury. The way you gave a resting place to tired birds that just could not fly any more- they may not have been able to build home in your arms but you were the harbor for their battered bodies when they could not carry them any further. Some of them might have perished had you not been there!”

“How can you tell your life is a waste? Or it’s lesser than those fruit-bearing, blooming trees of inland?”

The tree fell silent. A sweet light started to glow inside him. The angel returned to heaven after giving him a loving embrace.

A young man with dreamy eyes submitted his canvas to his gallery- a lonely tree without a single leaf, right on the shore of an ocean, titled “courage”.