1. Spring’s Warmth
"You climbed this tree quickly for one so young, Legolas," Father stated with pride twinkling in his eyes after we had scampered up the largest of the beech trees growing near the pond. I beamed back at him, happy to have pleased the person I most loved and respected, for at that time, I thought him the strongest and wisest creature in all Middle Earth.
We perched upon a sturdy branch, and I rested my back contentedly against Father's chest, snuggling into his warm embrace as his arms encircled me. While the wind whispered soothing sounds of love and nudged silky strands of my hair toward my face, Father and I relaxed in comfortable silence. My fingers idly caressed the tender, smooth, greenish-gray bark, and I noticed that the burnished-red, springtime buds of the majestic tree had taken on a subtle glossiness as they celebrated their imminent transformation into true leaves.
Spotting a newly sprouted leaf bursting forth like a polished gem, its arrival a proclamation that spring had begun in earnest, I exclaimed, "Look, Father! A little, green leaf—just like me!"
I reached out to pluck the leaf from its branch, but Father gently stopped my hand, a faint smile warming his face.
"Let us leave it, shall we, Legolas? The branch loves its young leaf and wants to hang on to it—just like me."