Around the time I was plotting my escape we were putting grass down in our yard. We would drive out some place around Harrisonburg, dig it up and haul it back in the pick-up, all of us kid would ride in the back of the truck with the grass. On the way home one day I noticed a tree in the middle of a field. It was tall and bare surrounded by a bunch of dead, burned trees on the ground. It was the only tree standing in a vast desolate looking field. It seemed to be the only living thing in the area giving an appearance of loneliness. I thought “that is how I feel, alone”. But I was awed in how it had survived while everything else around it was dead. I thought to myself “that is me, that is what I need to be. I need to be strong and stand up and take care of myself where no one else has or can.”
I looked at that tree every time we passed there and became more and more inspired by it. It was like a sign from God that I could do this. I could be strong enough to survive. It might get lonely but I could do what needed to be done. It took a while but finally I was strong enough to take a stand. And as it turned out it wasn’t so lonely. I had lots of support. There were many who judged and doubted me but I knew the truth and I was setting myself free!
Just like the tall, strong, lonely tree that had survived the fires, I too had survived!