The tree stands to protect young ones springing up nearby.
In American society, fathers are often seen as the outwardly strong leaders in the family who look out for their family’s best interests.
Fathers can also be nurturing, loving and kind, delighting just as much as mothers over baby’s first steps, or shedding tears when milestones mark children’s passage into adolescence and adulthood.
And father figures can take shape as stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers or other adult males who have been role models.
In national parks, communities and countrysides across the United States, trees grow wild and dense in woods, tall as redwoods and familiar on residential lawns.
Sometimes just knowing a tree is there is reassuring.
Whether deceased or still living in the back yard, across town or states away, the tree of fatherhood stands within the hearts of all of us. Father’s Day is a day to remember good times, celebrate being together and appreciate the gift of fatherhood.