The Truth Tree

We all need to be able to feel safe somewhere, with someone, sometime. For me, that place was a tree that had horizontally emerged out of the side of a hill on the shores of Lake Michigan. The someone was my best friend Heidi. The sometime was whenever we needed someone to talk to.

It all started back in the early 1980s. There was a group of us that would “hang out” in the trees at the base of a hill on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was a time before cell phones and selfies. It was a time when we wanted to escape our parent’s house and be with our friends. We learned about each other. We talked about our dreams. We had friendships. We had relationships. We had all the typical “teen” stuff only without the complications of technology. In fact, if you would have asked any of us to have our picture taken at the time we probably would have hidden. Maybe that’s what we did in the trees, we hid. For my best friend and me, sometimes we needed to get away from the group.

When we sat on the tree, we felt the comfortable sense of being and our inner secrets and truths would emerge.

We would stroll down the path where our favorite tree lived. We would perch ourselves on it for hours and just talk. The soothing sounds of the waves caressing the shores, the wind swirling through the trees and the birds flying in the branches above us brought a certain peace. We discovered a magical power the tree had. When we sat on the tree, we felt the comfortable sense of being and our inner secrets and truths would emerge. When we realized its power we named the magical tree the “Truth Tree”. We would visit it often to unload the heavy weight of our secrets. The mere utterance of them allowed them to forever be left on the trunk of the magical tree.

I can no longer remember the secrets we shared there, but then again that was part of the magic of the tree. In sharing the secrets it freed us from them. Even if it was only one other person that knew of the secret, the setting it free allowed for it to be free, us to be free. When I recently visited the area where the “Truth Tree” lived I was shocked to see it remained, now a solo tree horizontally suspended from the hill. I climbed up on its mighty trunk and let my mind wander to the days long ago where I sat with my friend Heidi.

When we wander down the path of life, it helps to lighten our souls by sharing the secrets we are afraid to let go of. In the letting go of those secrets it lets the power those secrets have over us dissipate in the wind.

May you always find your “Truth Tree” in life and someone special to share its secrets with.

Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.


  1. What a beautiful story about the magic-tree-of-life. I believe trees have intelligence and I’ll bet the tree loved you as much as you loved it. Thank you for sharing this coming-of-age-story with us. It was like there were three best friends sharing space and time; you, Heidi, and the wise tree.



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