May 2, 2016

The Trees will Remember.

Unsplash/Jeremy Ricketts

In the thick of the woods, a woman’s tears—a lifetime of lovemaking forgotten.

No more kisses, let them fall. There is nothing more to be said, no pleading, no anger, no blame.

The tree remains. Stead in his ground, unmoving, unyielding—but not uncaring. He remembers. He remembers all, even from long before. For the tears of many wet the ground below. Meaningless, useless. Never reaching his roots. Significant, maybe—but not to him.

The tree offers shelter, the nourishing air, the food, the home. Throughout the years, he grew. Now seemingly, he is forgotten for all he has done. Epitaphs of initialed hearts long faded from his bark. How stealthfully he grew, upward—ever upward, reaching slowly, in time. Now he is the object of the woman’s sadness.

Silently, slowly, deliberately, upward. He reaches for the warmth, every season, every year. Growing taller, stronger, wiser. The woman staying, playing, loving but never caring to grow. Never wanting for shelter, or food, never imagining a time when the tree no longer cared to provide. For over time, he was not noticed. The woman knew—surely—the tree would never leave, his roots so deep. He was always present. This was her tree—this was her forest.

She did not look closely. She did not want to.

Now the warmth, the light—no longer looking down. The spirit has left the forest, still sobbing, mourning the loss. The tree does not hear. For all the while, he grew upward slowly, unnoticed. Unappreciated. And he shall remain long after the tears stop falling, and the woman is taken into the ground, nourishing his roots—finally returning to him what he had given.

The tree will remember, however—how she laughed, how she played in her innocence. She loved the forest, for she thought she owned it. She owned nothing. The trees remain, the rain from the sky nourishing now, as it always has, far more than the tears of a thousand playful women. The rain never taken for granted, and the trees still gratefully provide, but they will not—cannot be—owned.

And the company of the multitude remains. Altogether growing, yearning, reaching for the warmth and the light. We hear no cries. There is no tree. There never was. For all that ever existed was the forest…

We beckon you. Find us here. Play if you wish. In time we will take back what is given. Despite your selfish follies, we are here to sustain you. We ask for nothing more than respect.


Author: Jay Schankman

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Unsplash/Jeremy Ricketts

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