Floresta; a walk in the forest

Two trees; one still adolescent, the other ancient.
I place my palm, caressing the youngling’s bark;
so smooth, yet a little cold.

It speaks to me of inherent potential, of dreams, of grandiose growth aspirations.
“In twenty years,” it says, “I will top the other trees.
The sky’s the limit.”
I smile and move on.

Hugging the older tree, I feel its splintered bark.
Here is a darkened area, relic from past forest fire, triggered by lightening;
there is a graze made by a hunter’s stray bullet.
And just under my clasping hands, barely visible, a carved heart;
steadily being consumed back onto the tree trunk.
It carries an old declaration made by two young lovers,
both since long passed on to their graves.

The ancient tree feels warm and smells of ages past.
It too speaks to me;
of dreams all but turned to dust,
of trials and failures,
of stormy nights and shiny days.
It had seen generations plenty
of animals and men.
They all came and were gone,
yet the ancient tree still stands.

I love the bark of the youngling,
but adore even more the cracked skin of the old.
Each fracture tells a story, each crevice holds a tale, a secret, a fable.
Would it, one day, hold mine?
I give the tree one last hug and walk away.

Cary, NC, January 15, 2016

(c) 2016 Ronen Divon. All Rights Reserved.