Monday, July 10, 2006

The Tree - a short story

As a writer, I've written many stories over the years. I've decided to dust a few off and post them here. This is one of my short stories first composed in May of 1994.

The tree was still there, standing tall and proud in the field just as she remembered it. It was maple–tough, just as it had been when a child, maybe a little more scarred by the years. But so was she. It brought back memories of a youth full of joy, one that was carefree. She walked across the meadow, feeling the overwhelming ure to touch the trunk of the tree–to feel the hard, rough bark beneath her fingers.

She first put one hand against the bark, spreading it wide to encompass as much area as possible, then closing her eyes, she brought up her other hand and did the same. Throwing her head back, her legs anchoring her to the ground, feet apart–the memories swirled through her head. So many.

And then in a moment of sheer need, she flung her arms wide and wrapped them about the tree as tightly as they would go, its hard coldness, moist yet dry–life–she could feel the prickle of its strength beneath her cheek and her outstretched hands and arms. She could feel its power course through her whole body. The knowledge that she had needed to be here for so long thundered through her. She had tried so hard to ignore what her memories told her–shut them away until she stopped feeling and thinking. Until she was numb.

And then she knew. No longer could she wait. And she felt it through to her very core–peace. And she heard the quiet–it was tangible. Standing like that for a very long time–she remembered what had been forgotten.

She turned from the tree without opening her eyes, her back against its bark. Strong, it cushioned and held her as she slowly lowered herself to the ground, leaning her head back against its welcoming solid barrier. The very air of the meadow did embrace her. And she sank into its blanket of welcome softness. Her eyes still closed, slowly she curled into an ebroyonic position–asleep and oblivious to all else around her.

Her dreams beckoned her away to another land. One long forgotten until this very moment. And the wind caressed her as she lay sleeping with the maple standing watch as protection.

If there had been any other about they would have seen the lines of her weary face smooth away as though being gently massaged away. Her thoughts and dreams had once again made of her the child that had played in the meadow beneath the sheltering branches of the maple tree. Again carefree and happy with the energy of youth.

No comments: