It's been two hours. Still, I kept walking!!... I walked and I walked for an hour more, across these busy streets flooded with food corners and dead-faced pedestrians and I felt tired. Guess, the occurrence of shortened daylight from above, reassured the passers-by to rush to end their day, as the late afternoon soft sun, also tipped off for the night to unfold soon. Unaware, I was carried away by the huge swarm of people, in no time I landed up in front of a food shop, around the corner. Albeit, the whole ton of folks surged in for their early dinner, I barely cared to drop in.
Tepidly, as I walked inside the book cafe I chose to explore, the brewing of beans in the coffee machine, buttery layered croissants and the smell of hot cooked pancakes with honey, engulfed me and I felt hungry. A while past an hour, the inspiring autobiography of the cyclist alongside a plate of honeyed pancakes and a big cup of freshly brewed hot black coffee couldn't satiate my uncertainties inside, as I sensed the weird scurrying of disquiet emotions clamping my cores again and I felt like a fragile broken bird.
I need something. Need it... I need it so badly that am unable to process it. No, maybe am tired! just tired, tired of walking!!, I guess. No, no my breath... I feel it... It... It couldn't cut past this weird turmoil and I feel breathless. I need it... I need air... air to breathe in. Air!... yes, yes air is all I need. Fresh air... Some...fresh air would do. In trices, I footed out of the cafe in search of the nearest park ahead. But, out of nowhere, it poured and it poured continuously, while I strode out of my pathway to the next bus station, to dry up. Such...a bad day it is!!.
I could observe the sun gleaming, crashing the dark horizon above, soon drying up the grasslands and the trees around, with tiny raindrops leaving just a cue of its arrival, as I entered the park. I sat down on the garden bench near the big old tree, that bottled up my space from the sudden raising humidity, in the climate. Finally, I felt composed despite the nagging migraines from the moment I stepped out of my office, and the sun felt warmer here, under this big cap of shelter than it was minutes ago.
I got soaked up by the beauty of the small little squirrels chasing down one another on the trunk of the tree, trying to catch each other, while some seemed so focused as they sat to nibble down the wet nuts, that lost their crunchiness from the midday downpour. I relaxed and cherished the adorable chirpy birds from the branches above, drying up their wings to fly, by flapping and circling the tree, to feel the warmth from the sunshine and get toasted before heading back to the ether.
The park was filled up with picnic baskets and blankets, while some mums relished and drank in the beauty around, some watched their kids play with their dogs, quite a few took their dogs for a walk around, whilst the rest sat and read a book, but very few lived lively to that moment by playing along with their kids. As I felt driven, I glanced at the elderly couples perching on the benches talking about their beautiful past, while most, smiled at each other and walked hand in hand along the trail, which brought me massive hope and I thought to get connected with my people.
I dropped down voice messages and face-timed some. But no, none answered back and I felt so lost and lonely. Yes, I feel so lonely inside like that half golden and blazing red leaves maple tree alone at the centre quite away from others, glowing under the sun. It looked spectacular and fiery and so uniquely beautiful, but isolatedly placed. Yet, somehow I felt like the tree doesn't seem like it cared, as It just stood there proud of its being, with those red hot and warm yellow leaves dancing to the gust's ways.
I couldn't feel an ounce of pride inside me today, and as the park turned briskest, as the sun set to dip down into a thin line of light, it felt like the world stilled at the moment, as the red hot fireball sank into the dusky sky, leaving its golden hues on everything It caressed, turning it into one enchanted space with its last rays. With the same pride, the oddly coloured maple tree waved its bye, alongside the squirrels and dogs, as they enjoyed their final glow on their skin and I felt oddly deserted once the spell waned as the night fell.
I phoned my people again, but none responded. I felt tired to my bones. The streaks of pink and purple painting In the azure sky calmed my senses, but the weariness stayed. I badly wanted to talk to someone, just talking about nothing would be fine too!. But no, everyone seems to be busy in their happy world. How hardly I wish, to grab some minutes at this moment, to talk to that pleasing elderly couple on that next bench?. But no, they seemed to be in a different world and not here, maybe, in their past and I felt both warm and unrest. What a day it is!!.
Will that lonely tree understand me, if I talk to it?. I am sure, it would grasp. Can it hear me?. It would, I guess. I want to talk to that tree, despite it hearing it. But will I be looking like a desperate idiot, if I do so?. Should I have to care?. How badly, I wish that the trees could talk?. That sounds absurd, but it could be so handy if that absurdity prevails!!. The mild soothing waft, washed off my weariness and the calmness it brought along with it, stayed back.
I can hear someone talking?. But nobody is talking??. There's no one talking to me as there's no one near me, so that I could hear them talk to me?. That's weird. So am I hearing someone else's talk?. Is that possible?. No, that's not true, as there's no one around me now. No! No! No! Where's everyone?. What's happening??. I can hear it still?. At present, so loud and clear. They are fighting? But who's fighting?, how?. Is this place haunted after daylight?. I can feel my raising goosebumps and I fled off to the centre of the park, where I stood near that odd tree and I jerked as the sound exceeded!!.
'Whoever it is!. No...No, please...Can you please stop talking?... You are hurting my ears!'.
'Are you sure? as you were the one who asked us to talk? you wanted this to happen?'.
'Yes, thanks for being gentle. But who's this?. Where are you?... I can hear you, but I can't see you?'.
'You very well can!. I am near you, right in front, you badly wanted the trees in here to talk? so now here you go!. You are hearing us talk'.
'Woah, is this for real?'
'You say?. You heard us talk?'.
'I can hear you'.
'Yes, so now got to go. Bye'. & the chaos began again.
'No!...No...No. Please wait and please I never wanted you to talk with each other, but I wanted to talk to you so that you could listen, understand and talk to me back'.
'Oh... Made sense now, so that's why, you wished for us to talk?. Okay, so, whom do you want to talk to amongst us?'.
'The liveliest one!'.
'What do you mean by that?'.
'Hmm... It can be the talkative one, amongst you!'.
'Of course, the talkative one!!, so how about the tree at the centre amongst us?'.
'Is it the one, that's behind me?'.
'Oh, No. I thought it to be lonely. From here, it is near you. But from afar, the view looked
different. Never thought it could be the talkative one!!'.
'Oh!, Maple talks like tomorrow doesn't exist'.
'Ha...ha, good to hear'.
I turned my back and soon realized my mistake as it stared back at me, hurt. I should bring it to talk to me, but how?. Guess, I need to start the conversation!. Yes, I believe, that would work.
'Hello... Am Brooklyn. I am sorry about the last conversation you heard. Never meant to hurt you'.
'Hello... Am maple. No, don't be, your explanation was fair enough to forgive you'.
'So, what's your age?'.
'I am not good with numbers'.
'Then why do you ask?'.
'I can understand your age, without numbers too!'.
'Can you see that bridge afar?'.
'Yeah, I can'.
'So, were you a toddler when the bridge got constructed?'.
'No, I wasn't a toddler, I was just born when it started!!'.
'Oh, so you are younger than me. As, I stood tall enough to see it's formation'.
'So, you are young enough to hustle. That's what I have seen people of your age do. You came off quite different'.
'How do you know?'.
'People think, we don't notice. But we do. Why do you guys are always in a hurry?. Look at those elders and those beautiful mums, dogs and kids. They enjoy being alive. Why can't you, sometime sit back and enjoy life?. Every day is a new spirit. You can perch back & relax and celebrate some moments'.
'Oh...at times, we do that. But even that, turned up automated nowadays. We know, that we should spend some time, but we don't. But I did today. I loved it thoroughly. Should have to keep doing it often'.
'Hey, liar. You weren't enjoying it entirely as you came across. You were worried, sad, lonely and lost altogether!!'.
' Ohh... You caught me red-handed'.
'I did. I did tell you earlier, we do notice!. You were alone, and that's so odd to find'.
'You did understand me. Thank you'.
'So, what's bothering you, Brooklyn?'.
'Take your time. Am listening'.
'I need time'.
'I know. I get it'.
The tree looked at me for answers. You wanted this to happen. You wanted someone to talk to?. Don't you?. Now, what?. You have got someone who's listening now?. Should I open up?. You got what you wanted!. So just talk to maple!!!. Yes, talk, it might serve you well.
'Am a young CEO, & it's just been a bad day'.
'Devastatingly bad. I lost my father recently and I took over his company after him. I am not good at it. I need suggestions, advice and guidance, but no, am leading everyone and everybody
looks upon me, rather than directing me. So it's difficult for me to keep up to my dad's standards. Today I was about to crack a deal and I screwed it up. Cowardly, I ran out of the office, not able to face my people. Am a complete misfit. I feel ashamed bone-deep when someone looks upon me hopefully and considers me an inspiration, as am so unworthy'.
'Do you know what breaks me?'.
'Yes...what do you think that strengthens me?'.
'They do. But the thing that strengthens me to the utmost level is also the Wind'.
'It sounds similar to what breaks me, makes me'.
'I don't know about that. But wind, makes my roots resilient and it also helps in the branching out at different directions. So, face it to familrise your resilient power and also toughen up yourself, for the next wind to blow you down. Moreover, make wise use of your wind - that's your breath. It will calm down your pulses to think'.
'Wow, thank you so much'.
'Have you seen me?'.
'What on earth are you saying!?... I am seeing you'.
'Have you seen me clearly?'.
'How do I look?'.
'Am I multicoloured?'.
'Yes, perfectly hued'.
'Why do you think, I look the way I am?'.
'It's fall. You are shedding to come back with newer sprouts next year'.
'Yes. You can see I am branched. So you branch out your problems too, and divide your worries into compartments. A day's length prepares us trees, to sprout, fade or shed accordingly. Similarly, plan your day out, then work on your priorities. Right now, as days are getting shorter, my priority is to turn the other half of my leaves to blazing red, so that my energy is distributed efficiently, when the time appears for it to fall. So you have to work on sections, by perfecting one after the other, your job will be done'.
'Thank you for guiding me'.
'Am not done, Brooklyn. Even after doing your job, if you tend to fall. Fall proudly and make sure you bloom proudly too next time, by spreading out extensively. Once our job is done rightly, falling and raising should be dignified by thyself'.
'I will etch it in me for a lifetime'.
'Make sure to fall and raise back time & again, as these makes us stand proud on our last journey'.
'Thank you so so much Maple' .
'Just come over and touch me whenever you feel low Brooklyn and remember we had this conversation. You will feel driven'.
'Thank you Maple, I will be there. Can I ask you something?'.
'Yes, you can'.
'Have you ever felt lonely?'.
'Have you ever felt good by just talking?'.
'Yes, I do that a lot. I just talk. I have got friends, with whom I spend most of my time talking about nothing, but I do talk a lot'.
'Suits you. You are being called the talkative!!'.
'That, I am'.
'Thank you so much Mapl...e?...??'. My phone rang startling me from my slumber. When, had I fallen asleep?. How come? and my phone urged me to pick it up.
'Hey, Dear!. Am sorry. I was held up by my design plans, sorry I couldn't phone you back, at that time'.
'That's....Okay...but how come?'.
'Are you sure?'.
'You sound confused...'.
'Well, I am'.
'No... Nothing big... Just need to fix something'.
'Great then. How about our dinner plans tonight?'.
'No. Can we just shift it tomorrow and take a stroll in our street hand in hand?... Just like those elderly couples'.
'Elderly couples?... What are you saying?'.
'Yes, we can. Wait, are you fine?'.
'Yes!. I am good. Why do you ask?'.
'You sound perplexed, lost but happy'.
'Love you!!!. Just to add one more, am contented too. I will ring you back before coming home, now got to go, bye Amor'.
'Sure. Love you too, see you soon'.
So, was it all just a dream??... A dream?. Seems like it is, but not all of it. I am still in the park, though not crowded as earlier, it isn't deserted either. That old couple next to me, was still there unwrapping their blankets and unpacking their baskets with wines, red roses, muffins, pies and sandwiches. Maybe a dinner date I guess. I walked to them.
'Hey, it's good to see you together... I loved watching you...& I want to be like you two'.
'Hello, Young kid... Thank you. You look like our vibrant grandchildren... But you seemed tired. How was your sleep?. Must be good, I guess. You seem good now'. & I remembered we do notice.
'Yes, I had a lovely dream and a great nap'.
'Do you have a partner?'. Asked the lady .
'Yes, I do'.
'Are you in love?'.
'Yes, In love'.
'Great then... Wait for the day, when my great-grandkids comes and visits you two together. Drop-in this message then. Stay together no matter what, and travel in this journey. Because in love, we end up fighting for each other, even when we fight with each other'. Said the lady.
'Linda... That's mine.... You stole it'. & I got mazed.
'Yes, I did Peter. He taught me that young one, through our long years of marriage. Just remember it always, it really helps'.
'Sure. Enjoy your date tonight. Love you two'.
'Yes, it is our date night and I'm so excited. See you later'.
'Yeah, see you soon. Enjoy your evening'. & I darted soon to reach the alone tree.
'Hey!, guess what!!, am not scared anymore of what people might think?'. & I touched its trunk as Maple said.
'I even don't care, whether you could hear me. Listen, you were in my dream, guess my brain tricked me. Nevertheless, I was happy getting tricked out. You were there for me, led me all the way. I remember and will remember to cherish those vividly lived moments in my dream. Thank you so so much for everything. You were right, I feel driven, serene and energized, when I touch
'Never thought, I could learn so much from trees. Feel inspired and you just made my day. I realized, it's just a bad moment, but not a bad day indeed. I would look up to you, come back to you. Thank you so much for being there, will head back now. See you'.
For once, I looked above the tinted leaves and I brushed its trunk for one last time, as the leaves fell upon me. Albeit I walked back, I watched the kids play with the shedded red and burnt orange leaves of maple, giggling and chasing after, by throwing the leaves at one another. I fathomed that Maple could make people so happy even, when it falls, wow, it really does fall proudly. Atlast I looked back from afar, waving to the winds it seemed like Maple was bidding me bye by standing so proud of its being and I walked and I walked faster back to my office, to end my beautiful day, as it indeed is a beautiful day!!.
We can draw inspiration on anything we lay our eyes upon and trees have always been the best teachers. They teach us of gratitude the most, by giving back so much, to the mother Earth. I have written this story to tell the readers, as it takes a good moment to change the course of the entire day. There's never a bad day, but just a bad moment!.