Tiny’s heart felt heavier than a stone. She knew of only one cure and that was a walk in the Wild Briar Wood with her best friend Penny-dog. As they approached the entrance to the trail, she noticed a sign half-hidden by the trees.
“Avenue of the Ancestors,” she read out loud. “That’s odd. We’ve been here a squillion times and I’ve never seen that sign before.” But there it stood, tall and gleaming and pointing towards a winding forest path. “Shall we try it?”
Penny-dog wagged her tail. Somewhere new. Yes. Let’s go, she thought.

From the moment Tiny stepped onto the unfamiliar trail, oaks and maples shimmied in the sapphire blue sky. Gossamer sunbeams streamed through emerald leaves turning the air into a rich, golden haze. Tiny tingled from her head to her toes, wondering if she’d stepped into a dream.
Suddenly a rustle stopped them in their tracks. She watched as a warm summer wind swirled through the limbs and wrapped around her shoulders in a satin embrace.
“Look Tiny,” it whispered, shifting the air. “Look into the trees.”
Tiny followed its gaze. On the trunks and between the leaves, faces began to form. They had kind eyes and loving smiles; gentle people she recognized from a time long past.
“The ancestors,” she gasped. “They’re here?”
The wind whistled into her ear. “These trees hold the memories of the ancestors. Allow your eyes to meet their light. Hear their songs through ears and heart.”

Tiny did as the summer wind asked. She reached into her mind and opened the doors to her senses. Threads of gold light twisted through the trees as snapshots of memories flashed before her eyes. She heard her Papa’s soft voice curling through her ear like a lullaby. All is well. Feel no fear. You are loved. We are here.
Tiny followed his voice, eyes half closed and heart wide open, one step after another until she reached the avenue’s end. The forest air felt clearer, the stone inside had melted away. Tiny squeezed Penny-dog to her full and happy chest. As they turned to leave, the summer wind blew her a parting kiss. “Come again soon. We are always here,” it sang before fading into the midday sun.