Just a short piece recently after spending and afternoon in the woods.
We saw you climbing our limbs, skimming up and down in the parklight, on a summer evening. Oh yes, we saw. We know how much your little heart longed to soar at the top, but as far as we can tell, even downy spruces don't have real feathers. And you can't climb those; branches weak as a dying man's heart.
Sometimes when you finish climbing, you drop back to the ground with knees torn to the frays, and you whistle on a blade of grass. The bodies of our sisters, we watch them become music to your lips. Oh yes, child, we know. You are often alone, but then, we can't say that we always enjoy growing so close together. That's only the way they put us here, and as long as we provide shade in the sunlight and shield you from snow in the wintertime, they let us stand. Being a tree is so much easier than any other job. We live a long time, do little, and say less. We were here when your grandfathers entered their cradles, and we shall stand long after you are gone. Little bird in a nest, do you think we are unaware of how much you want to live? And so you will live, more than we ever shall, but then perish long before your time as your breathless body consumes itself over. That which you consider life is not for the faint hearted.
Our job is that of hospitality, to stand willingly with open arms and become a home for some, a deathbed for others. Our shapely limbs and guarded trunks are a playground for your imagination. Life grovels at our roots, so we face the sky and dream of heaven. We are as near heaven as all but the birds can see, but we will never reach it. We do not have your passion for journies. We stand and allow life to sweep us by, and your changes are as far from home as we will ever go.
And then, like you, we will blacken our figures and kiss the earth as we depart it. We will burn into the soil so that those who never knew us can blossom from our remains.