I decided to climb the highest tree in the damp woods.
This depression is a monstrous ink tarnishing my one colorful canvas.
It is sickening.
I do not wish to be a part of my grounded pain, my own troubles, my own thoughts. Perhaps, I shall take my own life away? Give fresh air, wings, and freedom.
Walking to the pine I smell its sweet sappy blood. The cool stench of the pine needles twirl to my nose and soothes my breath. The bark rubs my palms with an almost soothing sensation, as though there was always an inner itch that could not be scratched.
In a moment of strength I hoist myself up on the first limb.
The mist of the woods hits my face, as higher I climb. Leaves and rubble get caught in my hair, the twigs scratch my cheeks, but it is okay: my own thick blood mixes with this creature who allows me to climb.
The birds chirp in protest as the chickadee yells, the morning dove moans, and the robin clucks.
Yet, the tree—this home to all does not move or sway beneath my feet—continues on.
There is a twiggy nest with screeching babies begging their mother for food. I too am so hungry in this world. So fragile, these pink fleshy creatures are, yet this pine-filled master keeps them dry and sheltered.
Muscles aching, I pull forward as the mother returns to her thankful babies, who too will soon fly.
The sunlight is in view from above.
There are sharp piercing holes of light which shine as stars behind a curtain of shadowed dark green needles. I am almost at the top.
I get closer. The air is moist as clouds form above. The soil is so far down yet its smell hits my nose from even all the way up in the sky. The earth touches heaven.
A final pull and I am at the tip.
On this final limb, looking below, it is apparent that I am small. This limb gives a sensation of such a fragile oddity.
I could fall. My bare feet could easily lose their grip, hands slowly dangling and then free falling. I could feel the gusts of my core arise to my throat and see my body smashed upon the impacted land.
Would it be so bad?
“My God, my God!” I scream.
I am so close to Him, to heaven still. “Gaze at me! Where have you been?”
A strong wind bends the other trees but mine holds strong. One wrong dip and I would be dead.
A white stork glazes the sky upon smooth air, a picture in itself.
He looks at me, a knowing gaze upon his sharp black eyes. He swooshes up to the sun not down to the earth, and disappears as a speck in the sky. A feather drops in zig zag patterns to land on the left side of my chest. I wonder.
I stay until the full-bellied moon marvels at this odd creature so high up. Stars dance and twinkle in their glistening bodies.
I decide to take myself safely down. The bark is not so rough, needles more soft. The mother bird drapes her wings upon her babies fast asleep. The other once agonized birds hum as if in a choir and my body feels the beat, the beat of this world.
Closing my eyes I hear so much. The burping frogs from the stream nearby, a band of crickets, the slashing of air as the bats fly by.
This is my world. I am not ready to leave.
With a small jump from the last branch, I hit the soft dewy grass and I sigh.
It is time, it is time.
Author: Hannah Seelmen
Editor: Renée Picard