The tree is a twisted, gnarled creation of time and the winds. It has stood alone on this rocky hill overlooking the sea for untold years, withstanding the raging storms of winter and the blazing heat of summer. It's twisted branches have sheltered nesting birds and provided shade from the hot summer sun for the occasional wandering soul. It seems to have a personality, a spirit, of it's own. It seems to beckon to me. "Come and sit here for awhile, come and share this moment with me." I rest my back against its knobby trunk, close my eyes and listen to its tales. As the wind whispers in it's leaves I hear the stories of the tall ships it has seen come and go, the lovers it has sheltered and allowed to carve their initials in its rough bark, the children who have clambered up its gnarled trunk and dangled from it's twisted branches. I sit for hours listening to the wisdom of the ages until the setting sun lights the sparse leaves over my head with an inner fire. As I raise to leave I feel an ancient soul touch mine for a fleeting moment and I know that I must return from time to time to share stories with the tree.