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The book opens with scenes of childhood happiness. The boy plays with the tree every day: running, climbing, swinging, pretending. They are happy.

Then a few pages after, it said “But time went by.” The boy only had a slight smile where he nostalgically remembers his happy childhood days with the tree.

As the boy continues to age, he no longer played with the tree. The tree asks the boy to come and play “and be happy” but the boy is “too big,” or “too busy,” or “too old and sad.”

Time has taken the boy’s childhood joy, and he can never go back to find it once more.

But it is the tree who longs most for what was lost, and it is here — at the intersection of time’s passing and the tree’s love. Each time the aging boy returns, the tree gives at great cost to fulfill the boy’s desires: “Then you can…be happy,” as happy as when the boy played among the branches long ago.

Here are a few lessons from this book:

1. Slow it down and treasure the moment. Sit down! Be still.

2. Just be there - Comforting someone who’s down and out isn’t easy. Sometimes the best thing we can do for a loved one who’s sad is just to be there. Silent and present.

3. Focus More On What You Need Than What You Want - be grateful for what you have.

Stay Grateful!

-Heather Chua

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