A Tree in Winter
The journey towards spring
Alone I stand. Naked. There is no light, just frosted white. A blanket. Still warm, but not golden bright.
My bare limbs shiver and as they do, my last leaves flutter to the crisp snow-covered ground and I wonder, “What else can I lose?”
I am despondent. Black against white. Longing for colour, longing for a sign—of life. They tell me spring will come, they whisper it to each other, a faint whistling on the wind.
I hear their other whispers, too. “When will she show some spark of desire to live again?” And in my silence, I wonder too.
Teardrops fall to the ground, melting as the weather warms in incremental degrees. I feel my branches begin to lighten, ever-so-slightly. I ache to speak, but still nothing. I long to stretch, but am stock still—motionless.
Perhaps this is the year my core will simply die and my limbs will fall, rotten to the floor. A rich crumbling playground for forest life.
But then…A slither of light casts itself across me. So tender, so subtle. I lean into it and a slight shudder startles my roots. I hear the whispering again, all around me. “She’s coming back to us” and become aware of the gentle pop of leaves unfurling from buds.
The branches of my neighbours stretch towards me, their greenness touching, as light as a feather. But that soft touch is enough, to remind me that there is still life—still a need to be here—simmering within my heart.
I begin to feel the warmth of a smile as the sun gets stronger, the chorus of my friends growing like thunder; a crescendo of life. I am cocooned in a forest of love, acknowledging that I too still have love, and knowing that with spring I will grow.
And who will know, of how close I came to letting go.