Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Beneath The Canopy of Trees

When I was younger, the tops of the poplars acted as a roof over my head. The moss was the welcome mat that tickled my toes upon my entrance. The honeysuckle was my perfume. Its sweet floral scent drifting in the air as I doused myself in its nectar. The fallen pine tree was my balancing beam. My chance for a gold medal for my made-up Olympics.  The other trees watched as I walked across its dead trunk. My heart raced. My palms sweated. My feet would be suspended in the air for a second before coming in connect with the ground. The trees cheered.

I breathed in the oxygen from the trees and breathed out love for their branches and leaves. The woods were my second home. It greeted me early in the morning and said good night once the daylight went away.

But as I got older, the honeysuckle scent began to fade. My balance beam routine became a rarity. My welcome mat was merely a doormat.

My mother reintroduced to the woods my sophomore year of college. The path I walked had grown up. Each tree blended into one another, and I couldn't make out their faces. As we walked, I watched her as she called the trees by name. There was a smile on her lips as she touched their leaves and smelled their bark.
I loved the gentle way she held back the briars, clearing the path for me. It made me miss those days when I was younger using the woods as my playground. I spent the next two years trying to see the woods through my mother's eyes. Every time we would go for a walk, I would listen and observe. Each time I saw something new.

My honeysuckle smelling barefoot balancing beam days may be over. But each time I cross over the threshold into the woods, my memories of those days get stronger. My old and new memories mix together, and I forget which one is which. All I know is that when I breathe in oxygen from the trees, I breathe out so much love for everything that is around me.

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