the first thing i saw was the tree stripped of too much of its skin. big sheets of bark lay on the ground, leaving the pale under-layers exposed to the winter. wind? vandals? how did this happen? there was nothing for me to do, but do what i do in all circumstances of nature in distress. i pulled the sheets of bark off the ground and lay them back up against the tree to honor and comfort it.
the gesture won't last. the wind is coming again. but a moment of care was what i could give.
after the tree was surrounded once more with its skin, i noticed the etch of a heart on the only slab still attached to the trunk.
"even when you feel flayed and exposed," said the tree, "love will always remain."
For more hearts, more magic~