In my childhood village near Stuttgart stood a huge tree probably twice the height of our two-storey house. A majestic cedar of Lebanon, it seemed oddly out of place, but it quietly and confidently shaded the houses and people around it. I used to watch it from my bedroom window. This tree was special, even exotic, but sometimes the sight of it was bittersweet. Like half of me, it had been planted far from its native range, but this cedar seemed to have adapted so effortlessly to its new country that I started to envy it. How dare it not be self-conscious about taking such a prominent position ...


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