The tree in the picture stands alone atop a ridge. It has plenty of nourishment from the Earth that its roots have dug into deeply. It soaks up moisture when the rains set in. Carbon dioxide and sunlight stoke the fires of photosynthesis. Wind caresses its limbs and birds alight on its branches. It communes with the Earth. The tree stands tall over the surrounding glades and farmland because that was where its seed fell decades ago.

When I was taking this picture, a woman pulled her car over and stopped beside me. She let me know how photogenic the tree was. She informed me that many people have parked their cars and taken this picture. I thanked her for her insights and she drove off. I wondered what the tree would have thought about its fame. I pondered if the tree might stand prouder, or pose more heroically, if it could see the beautiful sky surrounding it. Or possibly it might appear humble, remembering its tiny part in the circle of life.

Then I thought I was being silly. It’s a tree.

But I am not a tree, and I have no idea how it feels to be a tree, or if it “feels” to be a tree. I rolled these thoughts in my head and it soon became clear. I was just as much a part of the tree’s view as it was of mine. Maybe it was laughing at me trying to rationalize its existence, and in turn my own. Or possibly it was just thankful it had no consciousness to question life or being. I was plagued with thoughts about the tree when I looked at its picture. “Must be lonely sitting there, unable to move, just waiting...waiting...waiting”

These thoughts we trifle with as human beings can be a great asset or our most obvious downfall. This tree lives, just as we live. Sometimes we all need to find our aloneness and just remember we are alive. Life passes every second, it's up to each of us to live life in every breath.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 @92mm f/9 ISO 100 5 Image HDR