The Tree that Never Was

By Ami (Gypsie) Offenbacher-Ferris Reposted from 05/30/2021

photo by dreamstime.com

I wasn’t ever here, not really. Just the fanatical and fantastical musing of someone somewhere, not sure whom or even when. A hatchling of those over-bright high-school students, book bags heavier than some of my old limbs; hanging behind them. Backs bowed, yes like my old trunk, only their backs young and strong, yet still struggling with the enormous burden.

Anyhow, I think if you squint real hard and the sun is just right well, damn. I can’t move this old bough anymore to show you where, but you get the picture. You’re young and bright too. So, I’m sure now, yes, I’ve remembered, been so long since anyone tried to see me, I near forgot all about myself too.

What? Oh yes, I’d be honored. Here sit, let me see – if – I – can, yes, here you are. Nice comfy root for you, one of my oldest. In fact, one of the originals. Just a twig I was, I remember cause I was alone and oh so lonely. There weren’t any clouds, or squirrels or even sunshine. Arktificial habitat I think they called it. Hmmm, no, that’s not right at all. Artificial. There, that’s it. But there wasn’t anything artful about it and I still haven’t figured out what an ificial is. Might you know? No, no, didn’t think you would. No matter.

I was surrounded by those like you constantly. I guess I was something of a novelty, a rarity; even a mutation or permutation or one of those tion’s. Then my roots started to spread and I opened my first leaf, the cheers in my artificial home from those like you, very nearly knocked me right off my little root base! It was something. The comings and goings, the flash-bulbs and boy oh boy, the food they gave me was something else. Couldn’t get enough! Course, that meant my little cubicle thing got real small, real fast.

By this time, different humans were caring for me. Many humans came over the years, I grew fond of some, like I am of you. Anyhow, one morning there was a great ruckus. They picked me up and put me on a big truck. The wind hurt my leaves, so I drew them up tight. It was so damned hot, I figured someone had turned the heat lamp up too high. The continual bouncing of the huge truck I was on kept unearthing my roots, so I drew them in tight too and fell into a very deep sleep.

When I woke up, my roots were anchored hundreds of feet down into the most delicious soil I could have ever imagined, if I had one I mean; an imagination. It was still hot up top, but it no longer burned me so I unfurled my leaves to drink up that delicious yellow syrup that dripped from the bluest ceiling I’d ever seen. Oh it was heaven. There were screams of laughter from young humans dancing all around me, chanting,

“It’s alive! Look it’s got leaves!”

More and more humans came and oh my, when I allowed my little white flower buds out, there was pure hysteria! After a time, things settled down and some new students started to sit beside me for hours. They were so serious! Even when I tickled them with my leaves, I couldn’t get them to smile.

Eventually they all left and different humans came with big machines that broke open the Earth. They poured liquid rock into the caverns to build on. My roots were uncovered and recovered after being connected to long tubes with blinking lights. Some of the those tube things didn’t seem to me to do anything. Some of the tubes itched and tingled, felt like a colony of ants crawling all over me. It took a long time to get used to, I took many sleeps. Other humans took the place of the previous ones, you humans don’t seem to last overly long I think, I feel saddened at that. Eventually I was surrounded by buildings, walkways, gardens, even a street for some electric cart type thing. At the center of it, was me.

Humans with white heads and long white robes took care of me at the last. They talked to me and sang to me during celebrations. Once a season, every human in the city was allowed to touch my trunk, it was glorious.

One human told me, others were not happy with what had been created. Some said it was snackerligious to alter nature. No that’s not right. Sacrilegious. Yes, yes, that’s it. That it was sinful. Anyhow, there was arguing, fighting, war and death. All because of me. The book bags those first young humans carried with their studies, notes and ideas on how to create me and my kind held so lovingly to their bodies? All seized and destroyed. I was called a mutation, unnatural. The pages and all created on them burned, disappeared, like me. The tree that never was.

9 Comments

  1. msjadeli says:

    A perspective from the tree over its lifespan and “it’s” (we need a less objectifying pronoun for trees!) unnatural death very sad to read that end. I hope this is not the that is followed 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. msjadeli says:

    should say not the path that is followed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s too bad comments can not be edited. 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is quite heartbreaking. I remember the devastation in the forest before we moved away. No birdsong and destroyed natural habitats for foxes, badgers and deer as the trees were ‘slaughtered’ for MDF and plywood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems most countries forget the millennium it takes for a forest to recreate itself. Thank you for reading! 🙏

      Like

      1. Our forest is recovering thank goodness and they have replanted more trees, but not the same variety. At least there is birdsong again.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaya Avendel says:

    What a poignant piece that reaches out heart-fully in its beautiful expression!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much Jaya! 😊

    Like

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