The snow flowered overhead like cotton constellations daubing the wound of the cleared forest. Most of the trees were plucked, the trunks left behind, bones picked clean after a feast.
But the Tree Man stood, a mountain of green circles piled high. His stature exposed in the clearing; his branches stretched out as far as possible though they could not entwine another.
It was then the tree in the sky haloed around the lonely Tree Man, and onto the forest, a sacred sapling was born. The exposed trees felt lighter, even with the weight of fresh snow, that blessed night.