Up on a ridge, many miles from here sits a lonely tree. There is nothing special about this tree, not remarkable in any real way. It is just there, by itself, surrounded by rocks and debris from a few large landslides that occurred many millennia ago. The tree is sparse, with few branches, but surprisingly it has strong roots that reach deep into the earth and is able to provide enough nourishment to provide a small amount of shade to the hiker looking for a bit of respite from the afternoon sun. As I sit here typing in my air conditioned office, the tree also is standing there still swaying slightly in the evening breeze. The tree remains and will remain long after I am gone.
The lonely tree. A symbol of perseverance, of hope against intolerable conditions. A place of refuge in my mind on a Friday evening after a long and tough week.