The fair haired girl sat in the corner of the room, peering out of the window. She was observing the willow tree as she had done many times before except something felt different that day, there was an odd energy she couldn’t place. It had become her routine to speak to the tree every morning when she woke. That morning, however, the tree didn’t speak back to her.
On closer inspection the leaves appeared wilted, a dimmer shade of green with yellow here and there, almost like it was autumn but summer was at its peak. The tree’s aura seemed melancholic, sorrow hung tenderly from every branch.
“Why so sad, pretty willow?”
There was no reply.
Her friend remained silent as small droplets shimmered on her bark. No-one else could see such things of course but she could see them, she could hear the tree’s thoughts and sense her energy. Sensing such things had always been a natural part of who she was, there was a light inside her that connected to all life forms in one way or another.
Moving closer to the window, the girl looked around the garden. Sunbeams danced on the dappled ground and a light breeze blew. She could hear the blackbird singing as always, marking his territory. Sometimes the bird would pause and chat to her too, perched on the blue painted fence. She wondered why blue and not green but that was the least of her concerns.
“Why so sad, pretty willow?”
Then came the shadow.
Slowly moving at first and eventually enveloping the tree.
Then came the noise.
Subtle at first and eventually drowning out the bird.
Then came the shock.
Everything blurred and became surreal. She realised why the willow had been so somber. The Shadow Man had arrived to cut her down. Trees are wise behind human awareness and they know when their life is about to end. The pretty willow must have sensed it. That explained the silence.
She ran outside and screamed as loud as she could as tears ran freely down her face but it was to no avail. The Shadow Man kept cutting into the bark. Only she could see the blood trickle and feel the tree’s energy wane. She felt no anger from the willow only acceptance, a forgiveness of sorts. Her own heart was confused and furious.
The noise became louder as the Shadow Man cut deeper and deeper until finally the clouds stalled and there was a deafening crack. To her horror, the tree bent in half, like a ballerina in the throes of art.
The familiar branches she had held so often, lay entangled on the warm concrete. The willow was shattered, splintered, wounded beyond any solace. Only a stump remained where she once stood as regal as a Queen.
No more would birds rest within her shelter.
No more would she read a book leaning in her shade.
When asked why the tree was cut down, the Shadow Man gave a simple reply.
“Death is not always our decision, this was not my choice.”
The girl felt betrayed. Betrayed at the loss of a friend, not being able to save the tree, not having a voice strong enough to be heard. The death of the willow engulfed her like a tidal wave. She would never be the same and as the Shadow Man broke the branches with sadness in his own eyes, she knew from that day forth, she would defend nature with all her soul. She would become an earth warrior, a defender of Gaia who was her true home.
Sometimes…the brittle snap of twigs still echo in her mind.
Sometimes…the weeping of the willow still reflects in her blue eyes.
Sometimes…she can only Haiku the damage done for it is through the vast portals of poetry she found her voice.
There once was a tree,
green and vibrant 'til murdered
for no sane reason.
Between betrayal and prose, life continued as her eyes grew a little more blue. A weeping willow isn’t called such for no reason, for those who can see, they really do weep.
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