#Flash #Fiction #Spokane The Spirit of the Tree (Super fast flash fiction)
The Spirit of the Tree
There is a tree in the front yard of the house where I live. It was small when I first moved in. It looked like a branch planted in the earth by a child, but it grew quickly. Within three years, the trunk had grown thick and tall, and it’s branches pressed onto the sky threatening to break the skin of the atmosphere and pop the world like a balloon. It became a favorite of birds and squirrels and seemed to speak in the language of nature. It told me to have faith, to be patient. Spring was always on the way.
Like the tree, I grew during those early years. I found my dream job, and my dream date. I made commitments. I joined a gym and got fit. I started meditating and got Zen.
The tree became “My Tree” with shiny, large green leaves in the spring and summer, and oh my god, the colors in the fall!
It was the same for me. I blossomed. I was creative. We were brilliant. We were enlightened. I was more alive than I had ever been. Even in the winter months, the tree and I played our roles with quiet dignity. We were reflective and wise. We were awake. People paused to admire our contribution to the universe. I was an inspiration, a model of inner peace.
I sat on the porch and sang songs of my own creation to the tree, about the tree…for the tree. We were happy.
Then, some springs ago, I noticed a change. The buds only made it about three quarters of the way up the tree. The top fourth of my soul’s sister was dead, and I died a little in sympathy.
Now, the tree and I are alone. The birds didn’t come this year, and the squirrels no longer clamor for our company. Our branches reach up to puncture the sky like the fingers of an angry skeleton. I sit on the porch singing lamentations of death and waling in desperate fear of winter. I feel brittle, and nothing warms me.