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When trees grow up...

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 Is it growing up, altering with the trends of seasons, with changing times, even if it means that it looks a bit withdrawn for a while?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. 

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what you were describing

Hi Farzana,
While reading your post I was thinking all along that what you were describing was nothing short of the way I perceive human life. Children alter the character of the mothers who gave them life, and, given half a chance, they outshine the sun, fall in agony while their mutilated bodies are stomped upon, bend with the times, and they plant trees.

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It is...


It is about human life, and how we experience and see it. For a while I felt cheated when the orange flowers disappeared. Strange it may seem, but I did not click any pictures then, as though they would just be there, always.

On a lighter note, your reference to children altering the characters of mothers, mine insists she has got her short temper from me!

Thank you for the deeply-felt comment. 


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~f stunning as always and i

~f stunning as always and i can taste your words - the bitter fused with the sweet. mx

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I know, without realising it, the bitter just seems to be in the kernel. A bitter truth? But then, facing and accepting it could possibly be sweet.

I have been remiss in engaging, but when nature calls out I often think about you.