A Tree. A Moment. Everything. Change


A Tree. A Moment. Everything. Change


Kia ora my Dear Friend.


How are you? You have changed a lot recently.


It took a while before we even met. People came here just for you. Not me. When I came the first time it was just an accident. There were hundreds of people around you, taking pictures. I didn't. I didn't like you. You were just a single tree. Famous and not even a native tree. A willow tree, an introduced species, growing everywhere. Time went by and I didn't visit you for a while. Why should I?


The second time I came, I liked you better. It was for sunrise. You were still surrounded by people with cameras and phones.


Then, some of us but still all of us because we are all humans destroyed your beauty for no reason. They cut down some branches and left them on the beach - no one cared. You changed.


Less of us are coming now. They think you're not beautiful anymore. Maybe you needed a break. Maybe it's good. Maybe you don't care - no you don't care. You're just a tree. But you're still standing. You are still here. You're still the same.


We do! We get angry or sad, we write articles.


Instead we could at least use what we took from you. Using your branches for something, just something instead of just leaving it at the beach.


I came a third time for sunrise again. I took a picture with my phone. There was no one around just a few ducks and birds playing around you enjoying the quiet.


You changed but you will grow after a dark cold winter. I'm excited to see you again next time, next summer to see how you changed.


I can't leave you now. I have to visit you again.


A storm came. Rain, cold, hail. I was worried about you. I had to see you. Only one older guy was there with a real camera. Cleaning it with passion to take a good picture of you.


Another friend came by. A musician and photographer. He enjoyed you. He took a picture of you and me. I went first in front of you a little bit just my feet into the water. It was shallow. I went further and further in and went all the way. Touched you, the cut branch. We got a picture together. I don't know what the older guy thought. He didn't say anything but I went into his picture for a moment. He had to wait for me. He waited and I thanked him but even more I have to thank you and Flo for this one moment. This picture.


It was a cold, dark night. I've had the feeling, I have to visit you again. So I came. I couldn't find you when you first went to the lake too early. Have been here so many times. I should know by now where you are and where you're waiting for me. I didn't but you waited till I found you. It was midnight, no one around, no one was coming, it was just us. Not even the ducks were there anymore. Just the world you and me.


You're just a tree but in this moment, you were everything to me.


Hi, did I tell you that I did a short Instagram post when I visited you the second time. Taking a shy, phone picture like everyone else. A friend from Canada who hasn't seen you. I Like you too. He is an adventurer. I didn't know about him. That he was a painter as well but he sent me a picture. He painted you.


I asked him to send it back home to Germany. He does. I bought a postcard of you and sent it to him. I'm not sure so, if I send him the right postcard. No I didn't. I found a better one. I bought it for 6 $, an expensive postcard but it got painted by a nine years old kid. It has a picture on it with a bird, saying. "That's a cool tree! It would have been the postcard I wanted to send to him. But I lost it and the store is closed now.


You're just a tree standing your whole life in one place. I travelled the world. So did you. We're both here now. At this one moment.


I asked my friend to send me the picture. Three times. He never did and I got sad about this small question but when I went to the tree the last time. I saw a family. The kids ask: I would really love to go and touch that tree. Is it ok Mom? Yes, it is. It's just not ok to climb the tree. The kids went to the tree and touched it and were happy. A good last visit for a while!


Kia ora Wanaka Tree!


I lost the card and found the by the kid painted card again!


My friend Ryan rediscovered his fascination for night photography.

His chosen subject: The Wanaka Tree.


Book: The Golden Spruce, John Vaillant or the Film: Hadwin's Judgement

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