The pine tree

The sun rises again, the beginning of another day. The heat hasn’t risen yet, the dew drops of the morning cling to the pines of a young fir tree, performing its own private sun salutation. The pines are oddly shaped in spikes that point in every possible directly, like the possibilities and unknowns in life, we never see the end of the choices we have. Children on holiday sit by the shades of the tree, touching its trunks, wondering how deep the roots go. They seem to burrow down deep into the soil, clenching tightly onto the earth, never to be uprooted, having its own purpose. One child tries to brave the heights of the tree, yet climbs down defeated by the prickly pine needles that seem to tickle him on every turn. In the end they retreat to the base of the thick trunk, just enjoying the shades, away from the summer sun.

Soon the ground was piled in autumn leaves, only the branches of the pine tree weren’t laid bare. The cool breeze seem to persuade other trees to shed their leaves and bare their branches, but the needles still hung above the people’s head, colours changed to a fiery red or a blend of orange and yellow, like the setting sun over the horizon. The humans down below scurry like the squirrels do on the branches, running back to their own cozy homes to prepare for a cool night. The pine tree alone now stands with its cones and needles still intact, to brave the dry season. Barks of the trunk seem to shrink in size, leaving cracks of wood shown between, the dry cracks run deep, so the insides show, exposing the innermost of its trunk. If you peeled off the bark piece by piece, perhaps you will be left with the core of the tree, in its essence, the brilliance of a tall age-old tree. The meaning of its being still unfound, but alone it stands without fear in the autumn wind.

Frozen, the needles clink like bells and chimes in the winter wind. The harmonious chimes of the symphony written by the blows of wind, weighing down the needles to reach the ground. Sometimes the winter sun forces it to crackle and click, like the breaking of a frosty glaze of ice, fragile enough to shatter at your touch. The wind has worn it till it has reached its dying age, the crystals of needles that were once evergreen now stop defying gravity and plunge to a deadly fall to the hard ground.

Ageing is inevitable, and the seasons come and go, yet the pine tree stands, battered and scarred by the battles it has taken part in, the battle called living. The cones of old are fallen, and so are the needles, but not because of the pine itself, but the wind and rain and the ice that dragged it down to the withered bracken on the cold, hard soil. The sun sets in the winter haze, earlier than it was two seasons ago, and the pine tree stands alone.

 

Derailed thoughts

It’s been awhile since I’ve doubted whether I’m on the right track, the twig that fell onto the railway didn’t stop me, but the snapping noise did. The clear cracking sound in the mid autumn crisp air, where I walk along the trees with orange, fiery leaves. The rustling of the dried, withering leaves on the dirt ground reminds me of the time– it’s fall. The railways stretch across the endless green and orange fields, the leaves slowly leaving the branches bare in the cool breeze, the end is probably in winter. I wander along the rusted iron tracks, the trains that have come and go on this railway ¬†have left their mark, with the little scratches, the small fissures and cracks all scattered, in-laid on the brown tracks. If you bend down and look closely, maybe you will see the marks made by the couple years ago with a pocket knife, a simple heart with the names crossed out time and time again by the wheels of a heavy train of thought. The complicated thoughts weigh down the train, making the hinges groan and groan every time it reaches the bump where tracks overlap. Somehow the train doesn’t derail despite the heavy load, but the bumps in every intersection of the tracks make the journey seem more arduous than it really is. How hard can it be to reach the end? It is just a long winding railway, with derailed thoughts trailing along until they break off and lie on the sides as the leaves fall and cover them up.