Today is an exceptional day for Gary the old man. Rising in the east of his old beach house is the sun with its ray brighter than ever. Like every other morning, Gary always walk on the shore for his own health.
Energized by the sunny day, he found himself walking far away from the
house and saw a shape of tree in a distance. Getting tired with his
morning walk, he decided to take rest under the shade of the tree. He
didn't realize that he has just enter the most amazing moment in his life...
It's not an ordinary tree that Gary saw. It's an enchanted tree. A legend said that the tree can only appear to a very selective people. Another said that tree is always there, but only for them who have a pure heart able to see it.
Slowing his pace and trying to catch his breath, Gary slowly approached the tree. A breezy wind touch his old wrinkle skin. That's what Gary feel naturally, he didn't know that the tree embraced him with something magical... making him younger and younger. As he grab the trunk, it's magic power is getting stronger.
Gary felt his youth is growing inside him. He can't help for expressing an enormous joy filled in his heart. Start from his head, the white hair turned to a dark brown hair reflecting light from the sun. His face slowly turned to his golden age moment when many young ladies had a crush on him. The body felt much strong as if he could lift up the entire tree (which of course we know he shouldn't do that at this time). His leg support him to create a soldier's pose. And of course, no more wrinkles on his skin anymore.
Despite the changes happened with Gary, he saw that everything
surround him also changed to a more younger state and colorful
scenery. Once a wrecked boat laid down on the shore has now become a
small wood sailboat polished and shining. A name written on the boat
"ROMANZA". The sound of little children playing on the beach is
getting louder and louder when the eyes of Gary see many palaces made
from sand growing like a grass in field. And yes, he could also see
the children who build it.
The shore itself soon became crowded with grown ups too, passing by in front of Gary who can only stand with strange look. Some of young womens make a blink to Gary, but no one catch his attention until... one that
catch Gary's attention most... it is when he saw an image of once her
passed away wife shines with the sun behind her. The image was walking
to Gary and it couldn't be more real than ever when Gary reach and
touch her lovely face.
Let's stop a moment here and give Gary a chance to embrace and share
moments he has lost all these years. It's amazing how the two can share
all the years far more than their physical body age. It seems only the body
chanted by the tree, while the mind remain untouch. Gary still remember all
the years he has passed, even the moment when he was left by his wife.
"Could this be happening?" Gary wonder deep inside his heart. But as the
beautiful memories came back supported with body of a teenager, Gary didn't
care much about anything else.
Several hours passed away and Gary felt soon it will be dark when the sun setting
down on the west. Don't want to loose any moment left, he ask his wife to
take sail with the sailboat. He already imagine the romance filled in the air,
spending an evening under the full moon in the middle of the sea... alone with
a woman of his life. Never he realized that all just happening under the tree, as
he walk to the boat and leave the shade of the tree... all the magic happened
earlier was reversing the whole process.
His leg began to feel weak again, the grey hair replaced the brown hair,
and the wrinkle appeared on his old skin. He didn't notice all of this changes until
he feel that he's losing the smooth and silky skin of her hand. It's just empty air now.
Gary quick turn his head back to see what happened, but he can see nothing...
no children, no crowds, no young women, and even the tree has disappeared...
Strange may it seem, he just found himself walking on the shore alone.
The wave of sea water just touch his feet when he sat down. The sun still sit on
its throne high above Gary's head when his old ear began to hear small
voices from a far.
"Grand pa! Grand pa! Let's go home! Mommy has made a special recipe for lunch...!"
Striking like a thunder, Gary realized that sound is the most beautiful thing in the world. Nothing can compare the joy filled by his own grandson running with love to their grandfather... not even living in memory, the most beautiful memory...
yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is the present...
and so the life of humankind goes on...
Picture courtesy of Serge Melki
This story also available at Stories of Picture.