As a child, I would sit at the base of an ancient oak tree, the woods my only refuge from a world in which I didn't fit. In summer, the green canopy sheltered me from gathering storms, from both the sky above and the soul within. On autumn evenings, I would watch the squirrels play on the branches above, and my spirits were lifted. Winter's cold breath did not keep me away, and I didn't fear the ghosts that the trees had become. When the first leaves appeared in spring, I would be there to witness life renewed, in both the woods and myself.