Heat burned skin in summer. It was unusually humid. From the warmth of glass windows that singed fingers to the touch, I saw a burst of orange. Large flowers that seemed to spread their wings with every passing day and covered the green leaves completely. They altered the character of the tree that gave them birth. Yet, they brightened the day and the depth of the colour challenged sunset till the rays died out and false lights just could not replicate the tangerine shade. How dependent were those flowers on the sun, even as they looked livelier and brighter than it.
It’s been raining now. Last night there was thunder and lightning. I have seen trees fall in the lane where I live. I have seen a few things fall here; some get up, some don’t. When a tree falls, it blocks the road. Cars stop, people skirt around it or stomp over the branches and walk away. Mangled roots seem helpless. Have you seen such roots wrenched from the earth? There are dark brown splotches on them like congealed blood and the gnarled extremities appear like paralysed limbs. Someone comes to take it away; each bit will be put to use. A dead useful tree. While it lived, it exuded beauty. Not much else. How many people stop by the shade in cities? I too saw only a burst of orange.
The tree has transformed. The heat that tinged it has paled the flowers. It has gone into a shell, perhaps to protect itself from the onslaught of showers. There are little bulbs of light peach, the leaves luxuriant. Isn’t it water that keeps trees alive, water that seeps into the soil and creeps up to slake thirst? Then why did those flowers fear it that they cringed and lost their colour?
Another tree almost touches it. This tree does not give flowers. It has been consistent. Always green, and like a normal tree it suffers from heat strokes, feels the cold and glistens when wet. Yet, my eyes stay with the tree that changes. Is it growing up, altering with the trends of seasons, with changing times, even if it means that it looks a bit withdrawn for a while?
I like it much more. It is human. It expresses emotions strongly. From the fire hue it has settled into a subtle phase, the raincoat of leaves protecting it.
However much we shine in the light, sometimes we want to become so small that we can swallow ourselves and see what lies within. Large flowers become buds they once were.