The Giving Tree has been one of my favorite books since I was a child (I'd bet it was one of your favorites, too) and I've found that as the years pass my appreciation for its message continues to grow and deepen.
There is something magic about this simple story. When I worked for the YMCA during my teenage summers I was often in charge of entertaining (and keeping alive) 17-20 7 to 9 year olds. In the heat of Jersey summer, this was often a challenge (especially the keeping alive part, considering I often wanted to kill some of them myself). Every day was a new adventure with these kids; whether it be preventing Jacob Ellis from sticking gum on his privates and showing everyone or trying not to drown in the pool as 10 kids piled on top of me at once or preventing Kyle, the human allergy, from swiping snacks from other kids that might make his throat close up...I was pretty much kept on my toes for 12 hours straight (I worked 6am-6pm), 5 days a week. Looking back now I feel like I was a teen-aged Wonder Woman. I have absolutely no idea how I did it. And I am envious of my killer tan.
There would often be moments of pure mayhem at the Y; everyone wanting to play something different, fights over who gets what popsicle, tears over falling off the picnic table, despite my having told you not to climb on it 12 times already. But I always found that no matter the level of insanity, two scoops of crazy with a side of coo-coo-cachoo was no match for a good old fashion story time starring The Giving Tree. It was basically a literary Xanex. If I could manage to wrangle the troops to sit long enough for me to crack open the book, I was golden for the next few minutes.
It was amazing. Not one child would interrupt. None of them would fidget. They would sit and stare up at me with the sweetest faces, patiently listening to the quiet tale. It didn't matter that there was no magic or sword fights or grand adventures; they were captivated by a little boy and his generous fruit bearing friend. I remember feeling a calm wash over us all in our tented pavilion and I remember being so grateful for the few moments of peace.
I spend a lot of time on my computer. I am truly a woman of the digital era and definitely am a child of the instant gratification generation. I want it all and I want it as quickly as possible. To combat this slightly selfish and not-so-patient side of myself I often try and find ways to slow myself down, to live lighter, to be reminded of peace and calm.
Perhaps then you can see why I've chosen to decorate my computer in the following way.... :)
The message of deep selfless love (yes, that is my own interpretation) resonates with me, inspires me and "zens" me. It also reminds me that although gratitude is not always given where it is deserved, it doesn't make the act of giving out of love any less significant or important. I'm excited to have this reminder each time I reach for my laptop.
"And the tree was happy."