Spinning diligently on its path, the planet turned its cheeks towards the sun and a new season spread on the surface. As winter was fading away with the last melting icicle, spring opened her wings of flowers and songs upon meadows and hills. The boisterous breeze pushed aside the heavy clouds, releasing the shower of warmth and glow upon the land below.
In the orchard, the trees were stretching their fingers,swaying in the wind, while the life giving sap was bubbling in their veins. Buds were cracking on the tip of every stick and flowers were unfolding gracefully, adorning the branches. The air was thick with scents, buzzing noises and love songs. Springtime is the season of love.
-Huh, what a noise!-grumbled the old apple tree, hiding in his shady corner. Love, love, love is all I hear all day long! I’m getting sick of it!-he groaned, snapping his aging, barren arms.
-What’s wrong with him?-asked in a tiny voice the young plum tree. Why is he cursing and mumbling? It’s such a beautiful season!
-Oh, let him be, my friend!- chuckled the cherry tree. He’s all sour ever since the tempest broke his branches and left him almost crippled. His heart is full of bitterness and he’s not even blossoming anymore! With only a handful of leaves and no beauty,all the birds have left him, so it’s no surprise he hates love songs. Forget about him! Let’s stretch a bit more into the sunlight. It feels so good!
“Poor guy…” thought the young plum tree, glancing furtively to the stern neighbor in the corner. Then, with a small sigh, he turned his delicate branches towards the sun and closed his eyes, dreamingly.
-What a jerk!- mumbled the apple tree. Why would I need love? It’s nothing but pain and illusion! Look at the young master of the garden: he’s a total mess since his sweetheart deserted him!
Groaning,he turned his face away from the jolly youths of the orchard. With a heart heavy of painful solitude, even his sap was turning more and more bitter with every spring. He felt useless and ugly…
But up in the skies, the world was bright and the rejuvenating energies were oozing from every inch of Nature. More and more singing birds were flocking into the garden,while the trees and bushes were opening their arms, inviting the chirpy, cheerful travelers to settle.
The golden bird was coming from a great distance and by now, he was exhausted by the voyage. He took a like to the neat little garden with its blossoming orchard of lean and graceful trees. This bird was like no other. His body was covered by silky, golden feathers, he had black wings and ruby red beak. His eyes were shining like stars. The moment he made his appearance in the sky, all eyes turned to him. Even the wind halted its rush, his whistle turning to a humm. As the golden bird was circling above the garden, the trees were stretching and leaning towards him, pleading:
-Come! Come to me, beautiful bird! Look how strong my branches are! Look how fine and thick my canopy is! I’ll protect you from heat and I’ll rock you gently to sleep, just come and stay with me!
But the golden bird kept flying up and down, looking for something…He circled and circled till he noticed a lone tree in the corner. It was tall and strong, and despite its bareness, it felt trustworthy. So, the golden bird took a sharp turn and landed atop the highest branch.
-Good morning, my friend!-he said in a soft voice. Shaken off his dream,the apple tree opened his eyes in amazement. May I stay here on your branches? -continued the bird. I promise not to disturb your peace but I’m so tired after my voyage and in your strong arms I feel safe!
-Stay! Stay as much as you wish!-whispered the tree, choking on its sudden burst of emotions. He was so happy,he could laugh and cry at the same time…if only he would be human! But he was an old apple tree, so he took a deep breath, and in a moment of elation, his sap burst through his body, rushing towards the tip of its branches and sticks, exploding into a symphony of glossy, green leaves and heavy bunches of pink and white flowers! Perched on the tip of a branch, the golden bird was singing his song of love, while the tree was listening to it, smiling in the sunlight.
From the window of his cottage, a young man with dreamy eyes was following the glorious metamorphosis of the apple tree and a new hope moved into his heart. He jumped to his feet and left the house whistling happily. He crossed the path to the gates and stopped for a moment under the apple tree.
-Thank you, my friend!-he whispered, gently caressing the tall trunk. Maybe there is love for me too out there! I just have to find my own golden bird!
He walked off the gate and turned towards the village, his mind set on those velvety brown eyes he had seen the other day looking at him so warmly,lovingly. Up in tree, the song of the golden bird was spiraling into the sky, a hymn of love and new beginnings…