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Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #1735851
Wisdom beyond 5 years of age—a girl gives her father a life lesson.
The Season of Slumber

         "Look daddy! I made this for you at school!" squealed the young girl as she arrived home from kindergarten. She handed him a painting, which was made on a rather large piece of sky blue construction paper with four brown rectangular shapes evenly spaced across the bottom. These represented the tree trunks while at the top of the trees were obviously—even at first glance—symbolic of the four seasons.

         The first treetop wasn’t painted but drawn using brown markers. The lines resembling branches that did not have any leaves on them—this was the tree that symbolized winter. There was nothing particularly exceptional about this treetop. Near the base of the tree was a white rectangular shaped object. The father paused briefly to question why this season seemed so bleak, but his attention quickly shifted onward to the next tree.

         The second treetop was made with several wide paint brush strokes using a very vibrant pink color, and small, white, petal like blooms—this was the tree of spring. The girl explained to her father that this tree was like one of the many dogwood trees in their yard. He smiled and acknowledged her. It would be difficult, if not nearly impossible, to be unaware of such a dazzling display of color—manifestations of almost every shade of pink from dozens of dogwood trees in bloom that surrounded their home.

         The third treetop was painted in a similar manner as the tree of spring—long wide brush strokes and vibrant in color—but instead of using pink, she used several marvelous, beautiful shades of green. There were several small but perfectly circular red dots on this tree—some appearing to be hanging on the outer edge the tree and some hanging on the inner branches. For such a young girl to draw a simple treetop and give it the impression of a third dimension was extraordinary. The father’s thoughts drifted away for a moment, reflecting back to the apple orchards that they visit each year just as summer was starting to fade. Perhaps, these visits had made a great deal more of an impression on the young girl than the father had realized. An apple tree, yes of course—this is an obvious representation of the summer season—this is the tree of summer.

         As the father moved on the last tree—the tree of autumn—he became overwhelmed with her ingenious artistic visualization of autumn. It seemed as if every possible shade of yellow, orange and red were used—in a flawless manner. The leaves—of all colors—falling from the tree, spiraling downward in such an elegant way—almost seeming to dance with one another.

         “Do you like it daddy?” she hesitantly asked. He was staring at it as if he were in a hypnotic state. “Yes, of course I do, it’s beautiful—I do have a question though.” He said without taking his eyes off the painting. “What is the white box at the bottom of the tree of winter?” She giggled out “Silly daddy.” She went on to explain that winter is when the other seasons sleep and that is winter’s pillow at the base of the tree. Everything needs rest—even the seasons. She further explained that once winter ends and spring begins, everything starts to grow again and they will not receive any rest until next the winter. Speechless, her father smiled as he placed the painting above his desk—and it remains there to this very day.
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