Postcard #4, Two Hearts, One Gift.
"That is not a strange thing, for trees are loving friends and give much of themselves away to anyone who dares to ask kindly, humbly."
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Two Hearts, One Gift
Many feet below her southward crook, a new heart developed. Cambial activity in our tree cousins works ever inwardly, as today transforms into tales and their memories. A tree’s growth rings are writ in different colors of browns and brown greys that death alone may tell, if we are lucky enough to be there and if we are lucky enough to know her song.
Counting tree rings is like counting anything else, I suppose, but each ring’s story is unlike everything else you know—they are the patterned unification of her many ‘today’s, painted in undulating strands of strength, weakness, and her enduring fight against death. In that way, perhaps, you do know, for we are all living somewhere between life and its death. We are all dancing somewhere between the beat of this life and the song of the next.
Some tales are memories of hard times—mythologies, really, when westerly winds pushed and their vacuums heaved. Here, our tree worked steadily against this wind-stress through constructing defenses and basal buttresses. Her cambial cells on the leeward side compressed into wide and denser rings to push against the future’s wind forces. Some tales are memories of famine and pain when bedlams and their marvelous, thundering beasts ravaged and cracked downward against her arithmetic form and flooded the landscape with tiny oceans or burnt deserts. Here, our tree worked to conceal her strength and she slept, preserving herself as the landscape worked around her. Her cambial cells grew into nearly imperceptible stories of this time but she lived as those who live under the dreamlike slumber of a sunny, summer afternoon—just enough to be alive and just enough.
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