Trees and towns

By Paulo Coelho

In the Mojave desert, one often comes across those famous ghost towns that were built around the gold mines. They were abandoned when all the gold had been mined out. They had served their purpose and there was no reason for anyone to go on living there.

When we walk through a forest, we see trees which, once they have served their purpose, have fallen. However, unlike ghost towns, their fall has opened up space for light to penetrate, they have enriched the soil and their trunks are covered in new vegetation.

Our old age will depend on the way we have lived. We can either end up like a ghost town or like a generous tree, which continues to be important even after its fall.

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