At the edge of the forest stands The Oak, his branches now mostly bare.
For a season, leaves had grown and flourished, lending beauty to his life and attracting birds and other creatures to make a home in the safety and shelter of his mighty boughs.
But that season ended, and then came the time when they had to change, to leave, to begin another stage of life, a new era.
With tears in his eyes, The Oak said goodbye and watched them as they began to change and depart.
His heart was filled pride although they were no longer connected and held close, because he knew that the life in the leaves had moved into the seeds,
and it was those seeds which he had produced that held the future; his future and their own.
They fell, daring fearlessly to begin their own lives.
The Oak saw them sprout and begin to grow.
He watched them from above and felt proud even as another season of leaves began to bud on his branches.
And the circle of life continues.