24 May, 2017
I took a walk through South Creek the other day after visiting my grandfather. My grandfather’s German Shepard, Elsa, took me fast down the trail, pounding out her excitement paw-after-paw. Eventually my thoughts caught up to my own body and I pulled to heel Elsa as best as I could. I could hear her panting heavy. I could hear the water rushing below the edge of trail. I could hear the quiet oriole sing from a small, young tree–it’s voice boisterous and proud at the top of something, albeit small.
I know I’m moving soon, coming closer to a decision of where will I be, what do I deserve right now? What responsibility am I allowed to possess in my hands? Some questions, the right questions, stir the stomach ill. I needed guidance, so I asked the trees what they thought of moving and staying. I walked for a while, listening, and eventually sat to hear this:
Have you enough time
to walk in the forest?
Have you found a spot
to sow every seed?
Or is it that every inch
of the forest is planted?
But if you should look
off into the clearing,
then you begin
to cut down every tree.
I see this telling as advice to a city, a place, that our place everywhere takes time to be granted, takes patience to move our roots slowly through the earth, that we need be careful to move slow so as to not scar our tender parts. What did the trees mean of a spot to sow every seed? Can I not share seeds across a planet, across homes, or is it that when we come to love something, we offer all we can?
And then there is the clearing–the wanderlust gaze that destroys homes and the idea of the self. I translate their words to understand that if I should be dreaming of other places, other ideas of myself, then I choose to relinquish (at least in the context of where I am in life right now) who I am, the pillars of my foundation, and the love that connects me to the people that trust me.
I don’t know if the trees make decisions themselves. Maybe they just know that there is a recognition that life is not permanent, that there is a responsibility both to be planted and to offer up life–altruistic creatures. Maybe I cannot relate to trees: what they want as opposed to what I want; then, if that’s the case, maybe that explains why my life has been so uncertain these days. Who am I really listening to–myself?
I asked you what you wished for
Direction, you replied, the thought lingered like candle smoke
Later you would crawl back, weeping
Who’s direction then, I wondered, did you take?