Day 10; From An Oak point of View
If Your Neighborhood Tree could talk
Day 10; Which is the oldest tree in your neighborhood, and what has it seen?
It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining just right. Hot enough to get you nice and warm yet gentle kissing your skin to sooth you. The type of weather that begs for a walk. A stroll to anywhere and nowhere. Just be outside. Sit in the middle of the field for all anyone cares. Thus I heed the call and walk out with a book and earphones in my sling bag.
As I stroll looking for a good spot to perch, I notice the tree. Has it always been here? It’s majestic. A large tree with a trunk the width of a car. With branches stretching out in all directions. I’m in awe. Have I always walked past this gift of nature? I inch closer and touch it. Then hug it. Stepping back to examine it, I can’t stop staring. I decide to climb and perch on low hanging branch that had a great blend of shade and rays of sunshine.
Just as I was about to put on my head phones I heard…
I was startled. The voice sounded like it came from really close to me yet I couldn’t see anyone there no matter how much I craned my neck to search for the voice.
” I wouldn’t do that if I were you. A fall from there will definitely break something. You have no idea how many times that has happened.”
“Who said that?” I yelled out. “It’s not funny. I’ll just wear my headphones and ignore you.”
“Earphones, the hall mark of a generation so self absorbed that they device ways to shut each other out.”
“Such a potty mouth. When did that happen? I watched you grow and it feels like just the other day when you were in pigtails and pink ribbons.”
“Seriously, who’s talking?”
(Sighs) ” The folly of humanity is assuming that they assume they are the only intelligent life forms. When all they are is too self indulgent to look around and notice what the world is trying to tell them.”
“Okay Confucius. When you decide to tell me who you are, get back to me.” I put on my earphones and blasted a jazz mix that’s my go-to reading music. No mysterious riddle speaking person is about to ruin my perfect evening.
A gust of wind blows my hair onto my face. As I straighten it, one earphone fell off. I followed the direction the wind blew and glanced upon my neighbor and his kids getting into the car. As they started to drive off, he spoke.
“I remember him. You were in love with him when you were 12. The both of you loved to play on the the very branch you’ve sat on. You probably don’t remember anything because you were too preoccupied with him at the time to be aware of your surrounding. You were always around me. You loved me. Subconsciously. And I you. Remember the day you were waiting for your best friend, Grace, and you passed time with a book when seated on one of my roots? I blew a few leaves your way to say hi. You smiled and kept the leaves in your bag to make a propeller. You were so adorable. Still are when you smile. I didn’t want to scare you so I didn’t speak to you then.”
“There’s no way!”
I jumped from the branch and run to the ground. I walked away from the tree and did a lap around it just to make sure noone is playing a prank on me. I inch closer to the tree and touch it.
“Trees don’t talk.”
“Actually, we do but choose not too because of such reactions.”
I keep touching the tree and studying it’s bark. I start to climb back up the branch.
“Stop looking for a mouth. I don’t have those.”
“But… How is this possible? How old are you anyway?”
“About 100. It’s my plant day in June.”
“No way! 100! You must have seen so much. Oh. Wait. You watched my parents too! How did they meet? They never want to tell me.”
“Patrick and Sally. The sweetest couple ever. Didn’t start out that way though. It was hate at first sight. You see, the neighborhood had their weekly cleanup and Sally was in-charge. The houses looked pretty much the same by the way Human find comfort in inertia. So she noticed Patrick was still in his house and went over to knock. He was new in the neighborhood. A week old. He’d just moved to this city to start his life over after his business failed back in his hometown. Therefore he wasn’t one with the best demeanor at the time. Disappointment destroyed his very will to be nice. She knocked on his door and he ignored her. She persisted and he opened the door to say that he wasn’t interested in whatever she was selling. Sally was furious and said that she had just come to inform him of the neighborhood weekly clean up and he can shove his attitude up his butt. She then stormed off.
“Mum said that? No way. So,what happened?”
“Your mum is way more that you could ever realize. That’s a story for another time. Patrick was taken aback and secretly amused. He didn’t expect that response. He just stood there watching Sally walk away and turned to slam the door. A couple of cold treatments and community clean ups later, Patrick finally broke the silence and apologized to Sally with a cupcake and a balloon with a big sorry written across it. Goofiness, saving relationships since the beginning of time. Then you happened a few years later. ”
“So why do they refuse to tell me that? That is a good enough story as any other. Typical. Always about the drama.”
“Where’d you think you got your drama from?”
“Stop being an ancient smart ass.”
“With age comes the ease of saying whatever you want. ”
“What happened to your trunk over there? We always had our theories of what happened .”
“To tell or not to tell to tell? This is the big question.”
“You really take your time don’t you?”
“I have nothing to loose.”
“Besides my patience?”
“Especially that. Your tantrums are adorable.’
My phone rings. It’s my mum and she needs some help with dinner.
“See you later oldie. Got to run. More stories next time?”
“Tomorrow never comes. Say hi to Sally for me.”
“Of course I’ll go tell my mother that a tree told me to greet her. That would definitely not make me sound crazy.”
“Sarcasm has and will always be the lowest form of communication. Adieu child. See you soon. No. Correction. I see you all the time. Talk to you soon. Hopefully. You know where to find me.”
Originally published at southsidesahara.wordpress.com on December 4, 2015.