Trees. Into the sky I look through the tangled branches of a whistling oak, its leaves are gone hugging the earth about its roots, a soft December blanket turning brown and grey they smell of old books and attic chests. The sky surges through the open spaces wrapping the thin branches in sunset red, glowing warmly in a cold evening air and lifting my thoughts from where I step and welcome me to the distant chimes of nightfall. Beckoning my heart, the trees gently list with the passing clouds, their skin crossed with the signs of age wrinkled and parched chipped, rough, dark. I can not help but touch, hold, embrace. These are true friends.