Ephemeral Existence




Winter, spring, summer, fall, I had stood braving them all. I was a tall, mighty oak tree. I can’t recall how and when I was planted, however, I had stood for a long time. Every fall, my leaves transformed from green to myriad shades of tangerine, red, and brown- until they were swept by the wind. However, they always kept their promise and came back with the first call of spring. My boughs- some were strong, some were weak. Not all had stayed put throughout. They broke, fell, and grew afresh. And oh! The squirrels loved my acorns. They nibbled them with utmost delight and a few garnered and buried them for future use. Never was I worried that they would get exhausted. Because they always got replenished. Regeneration and Change- it was something that happened to me endlessly.  But what about my sturdy trunk? It grew in girth, with the rings increasing year after year. And it was my trunk that held the entire weight of the tree. I had developed an unusual liking to it- because it shouldered the responsibility of ensuring my presence.  I often saw birds carving a hole in my trunk. They loved to make it their haven. Young boys and girls loved hugging and hiding behind the trunk. I had seen those silly lovers too, carving their names, hoping it would stay for eternity.  However, I was worried at times when I gazed at it.  It couldn’t break, could it? But what if? And what would happen once things ended? Such questions always perturbed me.  And then one day… The whole sky was engulfed in darkness. The monstrous clouds broke out with torrential rains. There was a sudden bolt of lightning. “Boom!” I was struck badly. There was a slit on my trunk- yes, my trunk. As I gazed at the puddle beneath, it mirrored the reflection of my once sturdy trunk ripping apart unapologetically. Gosh! One thing led to another. Once my trunk collapsed, the boughs, leaves, acorns- all lay scattered. What next? I thought, as my invisible soul levitated. And then a few men came driving huge trucks. They chopped my trunk and took it to a factory. They placed it inside a room. Would it be forgotten? I waited with bated breath to find out. A tormented soul I was. But within days, the trunk was carried to a workshop. It was shaped, seasoned, varnished, and painted painstakingly. Voila! My trunk underwent a remarkable transformation to become a huge storage trunk. Within hours, an old lady bought it.  “You will hold all my treasures,” I heard her whispering to the trunk. I was glad it found a home. From a living tree trunk to an ornate trunk – what an avatar! I finally understood… Change is inevitable. Life is ephemeral. The world moves on. Acceptance is the key. Within layers deep, the tree’s soul found a place inside a buried acorn- soon to be born once again.   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!