Photo by O’Anna Rose Photography
By Blake Lewis
I walked upon a willow weeping and wondered why it cried. I thought, You are too beautiful to be so sad.
He said, “Do not pity me friend, for this is what I am. If you walk about a different land you will see a thousand trees that are happy.”
“But why are you the tree that is sad?”
“Poor child, I know you do not understand. You look upon me and say, ‘That is a tree. It should not have sadness. It does not know it.’ But don’t trees bleed the same as thee?”
I thought, Yes, trees bleed, but it is not the blood of the heart. It is the blood of the Earth, which does not feel the petty pains of man. But I dared not say this to the tree, for he was quite obviously sad, and I did not wish to deny him his tears.
“There was a time, my child, when we were not strong and still. There was a time when we wandered, just as you, trying to find our place.”
I thought this wonderful, as I had never imagined a tree as me. I begged, “Do tell me more, my dear sweet tree!”
He smiled for a moment with the tears still upon his face. “I can see I’ve excited you. This makes me happy. Too often, I see your kind wandering alone with that distant feeling. But you see, they are able to look upon me and find solace in sadness, and they see beauty. This is my life’s purpose.”
“It pains me to hear that your purpose is sadness.”
“Dear child, this is why I say, ‘Do not pity.’ For you are too young in the world to know. All that you see around you has its purpose, and for a long time we wandered aimlessly, just as you, as we tried to find it. For me, I found that I could not bear the idea of others feeling alone in their sadness. I knew that when the Earth beckoned my roots, that I would serve as a reminder to the wanderers of the land, that they are not alone in their sorrow and that there is beauty in the tears one exhales. Just as the Redwood became a symbol of strength and power for all to admire and strive for. And just as the fruit tree became the bearer of nourishment for the starving soul. We all serve our purpose, dear child.”
“But what is mine?”
The tree did not speak. He looked down upon me, and smiled with eyes full of secrets just as my Mother does.
“I cannot tell you, dear child.”
“But you have seen us wander! You have seen us suffer! You have lived ages more than I. Surely you must know!”
As I pleaded, the tree began to cry more, so I relented.
“I’m sorry, dear tree, I did not mean to make you even sadder.”
“Oh, my child, you have no idea…”
With that, the tree closed its eyes, and I knew that we would not speak again. As I stood there, I felt a teardrop cross my cheek. I had not realized I was crying, and yet it made me happy that I could share a tear. As I walked away, I felt comfort amidst the forest, for I knew that I did not wander alone.