Were I To Be A Tree

Were I to be a tree, only but a few
pressing concerns would plague my
petiolar mind. Foremost being the present
equilibrium (or lack thereof) between rain
and sunshine at any given moment. Short
of the random yet necessary question of
how cold one’s branches would feel in the
wintertime with no appropriate coverage
of foliage to protect. For the latter,
concern is easily quenched and abated
with the decision that I would be an
evergreen. Assessing and acknowledging
these risks, I adamantly pronounce that I
want to be a big, huge tree.

Were I to be a tree, what power would
brim in my sturdy trunk, as I stand tall
against fierce gales of mid-December
proportions. As gusts of nature’s howling
voice rush around my presence as a high
tide wave would an anchored rock. Such
tenacity flowing through my unyielding
roots, only increased by the absorbing of
nutrients from the delightful soil at my
entangled feet. Draining the earth dry of
its molten middle, as it were, to an empty
husk.

Were I to be a tree, what joy discerned by
avian allies acquainting their feathery
quills to my symphonic leaves of
photosynthesis. Loquacious arias
alighting from coloured birds coinciding
with the passing or arriving of the sun,
drifting from promising aubade to
melancholic nocturne. To cradle the
fragile eggs amongst burly branches in
pouches constructed of my lesser arms,
my fingers, one might call them, though I
suppose most refer to them as twigs. A
provision for utmost care, camouflaging
said birds from harm’s punish. And soon!
These freckled medallions crack and keel
away to reveal the latest of my choir,
young falsettos of immature urgency,
answered in turn by the baritones and
tenors of their maternal superiors.

Were I to be a tree, pertaining to plant
law, as I’ll call it, I would oft be branded
to the colour of green. This certain detail
sits contentedly in my mindset, as green
just so happens to be my favourite colour.
My leaves, numbering a mere seven
hundred and eighty three during the most
frigid of winters and a boom two hundred
and sixty three thousand nine hundred
and forty one during the most vibrant of
summers, would be the major showcase
for my spectral quality. Green of four
instantly noticeable shades and the
shapes of stars, blades, hands and in one
case, a half closed eye with enormous
pupil, thanks to a gluttonous caterpillar
feasting upon it.

Were I to be tree, how somber I’d become
reminiscing of friends gone, taken from
me with each rotation of celestial sphere.
Of bugs and birds and butterflies gone
perished with the preceding months, to
flowers and grass and hanging ivy slain
by time’s sword. Yet still I’d stand on
eternal, ever watchful, a beacon of
antiquity. As the youths who climb
become couples who carve messages in the
outmost layer of bark encumbering my
still existence, who share my shade and
stare skyward through the canopy of leaf
constellations broken only by filtering sun
that pierces like sceptres of light. All the
while the dryads dance between leaves in
sprightly joviality.

Yes, were I to be a tree, how similar life
would be to that of what I am now.
Although a life with no pulse, there is a
life with joy, with observation, with
friends and in loneliness. A life with a
beginning and a life with an end. But
should I pursue my ambition to become
such a ligneous denizen, my progress
would swiftly be extinguished by the
simple fact that for a man to become a
tree, one would have to defy all notions of
sense and reality, it is perfectly
impossible!

– 2011

 

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