I sketched a tree in Foothill College outside the library court. His name is Acacia. With over thirty feet tall, Acacia stretches his long arms upward and sideward from his body, as if aiming something in the sky. The smaller and thinner branches hold the tree’s most precious treasure—his leaves. Green and tiny, the leaves of Acacia lend its shade to those who need a shield from the abruptness of the wind and the revulsion of the sun. Acacia is not selfish. For a long time, he has been offering a piece of its space for bird’s nests, and lovers’ as well.

It has been a long time and yet no one still knows Acacia’s great, great story. A warm, summer night was the atmosphere in [hometown] when Acacia had awakened from a long, silent sleep. His eyes, who used to see the darkness from the below, gleamed after seeing the Moon. The goddess’ face was glowing while watching over the young tree. Her light was the first rays of light the acacia tree has ever known. The acacia tree soon learned that his parents have left him soon after his birth. He was left under the custody of the Water, the Earth, the Sun, and the Air.

From these four elements, he gained all the nourishments and caring he needs. But Acacia grew up to be closer to the Earth. He taught Acacia his first lessons: always keep your feet on the ground. For this matter, Acacia learned how to be humble and how to relate well with his fellows. As Acacia grew up to be a sturdier and taller tree, his four guardians told him that it is not enough that he grows physically strong. He must be fed intellectually and socially. Because of this, the four guardians took him to a school for high learning. The place was far from his hometown though—[Name of high school] in [Town].

However, in this place, Acacia learned to think more critically and to interact with other people of his same age. He also gained self-confidence through the extra-curricular activities he had participated with. For Acacia, being in high school seemed to be the happiest and most memorable part of his life. However, all good things will end, so they say. Right after graduation, Acacia decided to pursue higher education. He then went to Foothill College in Los Angeles. From this turning point in his life, Acacia’s view of the world suddenly changed.

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If in high school he thought that education can gain even if one is a happy-go-lucky, in college this perception was altered. He learned that to be able to survive, not only in college but also in life, one must know how to balance things: studies and extra-curricular activities, time, and most importantly relationships with fellows. In this particular part of his life, Acacia’s first set of flowers bloomed. When he asked Earth about this, the latter simply replied that Acacia is in love. The blooming of his flowers indicated the heavenly-like feeling brought by love.

However, Acacia’s flowers soon withered. At this point, Acacia learned that love is not all about good things. It also means suffering, pain, and tragedy. Nevertheless, Acacia still let her flowers bloom over and over again. He hopes that sooner he will find eternal love and his flower will bloom forever. Acacia, deeply influenced by the Earth, wanted to bring back to Earth all the kindness he has given to him. Because of this, Acacia pursued degree wherein he could help other fellows being helped by the Earth—humans. He took [Course] and aimed helping in the development and welfare of other people.

As a parent, Acacia sees himself as a balance of being protective and being permissive. He can offer everything he has—his branches, his stem, his leaves, flowers, even roots—for the sake of his children. However, he can also be a protective one, especially during cases in which the safety of his children and loved ones as well, is at stake. Acacia imagines how his death would take place. Since he is a sturdy tree, flexible enough to contain the heat of the sun and the coldness of the wind and the rain, Acacia would die because of aging.

His strength would suddenly decline, but his love towards those special to him would still flourish. On his last day, Acacia would gather all of his remaining strength to make his flowers bloom again for the last time. Before he dies, Acacia would say the following words: Always keep your feet on the ground. This is to remind everyone that all will fall back into ashes. The Earth will eventually swallow him and keep him inside his body. Acacia is a representation of myself. All the things that Acacia underwent compose the pictures in the album of my life.

Although the future is uncertain, I wanted to take the same views of Acacia towards his parenting and death. Acacia is my metaphor for my strong and firm belief about human life in this world. I strongly believe that like an acacia tree, humans are compelled to live a hard life. However, it is important that humans learn how to interact well with his fellows. Giving back to Mother Earth what is rightfully hers is also important. Finally, being proud would only bring chaos to the society. I personally believe that living by keeping my feet on the ground would allow me to see more and live more the beauty of life.

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