us and trees

downtown an old man wanders throughout the lonely streets. his hunger is what keeps him walking even on days where the car exhaust trapped between walls of concrete seems to only make the heat worse. finding nothing on his search he stops nearby to rest his legs underneath an ageing tree.

since the beginning of time the fate of man and the fate of the tree has always been intertwined. ever since God placed that tree in the garden our destinies were sealed together. deep within the core of its trunk was held a secret the depths of which were only known by He that created it. but mankind in our foolish ways robbed Him of that knowledge, in turn cursing ourselves and in effect also the tree.

today a tree still stands like a memorial in the urban jungles of our madness. its limbs hang like arms reaching to the sky but only to be cut short by telephone wires, its roots dig deep into the earth but only to be imprisoned by concrete sidewalks, and on its sides etched are the engravings of lovers long past. passersby hurry to complete whatever business that binds them, homeless men beg beneath its shade and tourists come for the attractions but yet they all miss what stands before them.

at one time there used to be others. the tree in its solitude continually asks why it was chosen to bear the curse and not the others. was it a cruel joke played by man? once used to bring life to the city, it now stands like a gravestone. when one comes to this city, there are countless artifacts, statues and memorials the glorify our human triumphs, but on every street corner stands a memory of our curse.

the old man now breathes a heavy sigh, tired not from the passing day but the weary years that never seem to relent. under his breathe he wishes to be like the tree. to stand as tall as it can stretch itself, to dig beneath the earth where deep to where the waters run, to bear fruit each spring and give it out in jubilee, and in the summer to feel the glory of the sun sear through its leaf like veins, to array oneself in a gown of harmonious colors each fall, and in winter to wear the ice and snow like a crown that God himself gently places on its brow. this is all the tree has known, and without faltering, all it has ever wanted.

the old man, now in his final hour, had finally come to realize what he had imprisoned for so long. as the rays of sun rain down through the clouds, so the tears rain from his eyes. the man now leaned back and rested his head upon the tree when he looked up and saw blood like a syrup pour from holes in its branch like hands. astonished and broken down the man continued to watch as blood from thousands of scars, wounds he had inflicted, poured out to wash him. in joy and disbelief he rose as he felt the burden of his sorrows cast from him, like a child in the spring of life he jumped as if no longer bound by gravity. when he breathed cold and pure air flooded his nostrils and his mouth, inhaling life and exhaling years of drugs, alcohol and cancer.

you see this man hadn’t found an ordinary tree, in fact he hadn’t even found a tree at all but a gift from the One who made everything, who made this tree and who made him. not to die in a world alone, but to be given life and to share it with him.

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