THE TREE

The Matriarch was basking in the warmth of the afternoon sun; she was dreaming about the old days, the days of a long forgotten beginning. She stretched and turned her senses to towards the surging memories…

 

The planet was young and barren; she had barely silenced the inside torment and got her oceans and continents set in place. The air cleared and she felt exhausted; the tiny globe needed some rest in the deep silence that surrounded her. Only the monotonous thru and fro of the waves could be heard or the whistle of the wind running over the vast emptiness. A wave broke on the rocky shore and the white foam bubbled between the colorful pebbles…There were no living creatures around. Only land, water and air… The planet was lonely; she dreamed about something to lift her spirit, something to make her happy and something to make her…beautiful. She longed for that, though she didn’t know what that would be. Another empty day passed by and during that night the sky filled with sparks; one of them slowly approached the little planet and dived in the atmosphere.

For a moment the sky lit up in a maze of colors; the planet watched in amazement. The sparks hit the surface, spreading all over the barren land, sinking deep into the ground. The light faded out and the night muffled the sounds. The planet wondered for a moment: she felt…different. Happier. The waves of the ocean rocked her gently into sleep.

 

 

 

They were an old race, a race of creators; they brought to life the barren, new or old planets. They traveled through the Universe in tight clusters, riding spreading dust clouds, hurried comets, asteroids, currents of Space. They landed on the chosen planets and helped life to emerge…then left for another new destination. Sometimes, they got tired or their number decreased dangerously so they settled indefinitely on a planet.

The Matriarch remembered the day of their arrival here; she took an instant like at the tiny planet. They spread all over her surface and in a very short time the creation begun. She vividly remembered the happiness and awe of their host as her surface filled with colors, movements, noises, scents and incredible living creatures. At that time the Matriarch was a young and ambitious Creator. Her roots eagerly dived into the dusty, rocky surface, spread into a thick web of connections, dug up water and precious minerals. In less than a rotation around the golden sun, the planet was covered by a lush green forest, each tree intimately connected to the ones around it and living in a planetary family. There were tall, erect, powerful Matriarchs and their gracious, young siblings scattered around but their roots were firmly entwined. The trees dreamed, created and gave birth to the creatures roaming the lands, swimming in the waters or flying in the skies. It was a collective work but it left enough place for individual fantasy and creativity.

Everybody was happy and content. As the living system connected, it became functional and independent from their birth-mothers. They entered the cycle of life, decay and death….giving birth, raising their own siblings, fighting for a better place in the creating forest. The creators were pleased with the result of their dreams and so was the planet. She protected and nourished them; she wasn’t lonely and pointless anymore. In time some of the creators changed and stopped to give birth to new species. They became…a new species, rooted in the fertile soil, embracing the sunlight. They’ve lost the need for traveling and decided to stay put. The older ones protested at the beginning, scolded their siblings but they couldn’t take off by themselves. They were too old and exhausted to depart without the young generation. The Matriarchs gave in and learned to live here; after all, they have fulfilled their creative duty. The world around teemed with life…

 

The Matriarch sighed from inside; she was the oldest Creator left, the last one that had the gift of life. She hasn’t used it for ages; she was too tired and the last storm left her crippled. The huge trunk was hit by a lightning and it split; the whole upper section fell to the ground, leaving her shattered and barren. Fortunately her siblings fed her and supported her until she healed the wound and new branches emerged from bellow, supporting her needs. Under the caressing warmth she dozed off and she had a dream.

It was a very peculiar one; for the first time after long years she dreamt about a new creature. He was…highly unusual; not because of the features- some of the Creators have had similar looking children before. But this creature was entirely different from the inside; he was inquisitive and creative…like a Creator.

The Matriarch shied away from her own dream; she was way too old for such a difficult creation. Yet, she was the only one who could bring this child to life; all the others around her had given up on their gift for a comfortable stillness. Sure, they were interconnected and they were constantly communicating; but even her young offspring weren’t interested in developing creating capacities. So she took a deep breath and reached deep down into the ground; the planet sensed her and reached out curiously.

“Do you have something for me?”-whispered the planet.

“ I have one last child to create; I’ve just dreamt him…-answered the tree. But I am so…old and vulnerable; what if I fail?”

“I’ll be here with you, don’t worry. Take your time…”

 

 

The Matriarch dived inside her inner universe and gathered the creative energies; she slowly grew a cocoon of light inside the huge bulk of the broken trunk. The light faded out and the cocoon hardened until it looked like a big egg made of white silk thread. Another week passed by and the Matriarch seemed absent-minded most of the time; she was carefully building the last of her children. The planet watched her in silence. Finally, she turned towards her long-time host:

“It’s done- murmured the Matriarch. He’s ready to be born. Watch over him…I’m exhausted …”

“Thank you-relax…I’m right here. Let him out!”

The silky cover cracked and a hand emerged from inside. It fingered carefully the edges and surfaces and pushed away larger pieces, unraveling the inside of the egg. The creature stood up, stretched and looked around with curiosity. He was tall, slender, with long limbs and fair, almost hairless skin. His eyes were big, warm-brown and his hair was a darker shade of the same color. The planet watched him in amazement.

“What is this new child?”-she asked in a tiny voice.

“It’s a…man, a human…-whispered the Matriarch.

“ But…he’s alone…”-the planet was slightly puzzled.

“ I…don’t know…if I would be able to…give birth…to his pair…I’m….soooo…tired…”

The youth was wandering around, touching carefully the rugged trunks of the trees, the soft blades of emerald grass, the dew-drops pending on the tip of the leaves, the flowers of the meadow…He smelled the fragrant air and smiled. The planet pushed a fruit in his way and suggested him to taste it. The new child of the world liked the gift. His eyes were sparkling with excitement. He roamed all around under the careful guidance of the planet and he returned to the Matriarch out bursting with emotions but awfully tired. He cuddled up inside the opening of the old tree and fell asleep instantly, folding in her protective arms.

“He’s wonderful.”-said the planet quietly. I don’t want to lose him. I can’t leave him alone; he needs his pair to survive. Matriarch, let me think this over!”

But the Matriarch was already lost in dreams, lovingly holding her last precious creation. The planet retreated silently; she had a problem to solve.

 

The fire surged from the core of the planet; golden streaks of fiery light seeped into the rocky ground and filled the web of delicate cracks. The planetary wood woke up in a shock; long forgotten memories were stirred by the touch of the blazing underground. Some of the younger ones were puzzled, while the ones of the older generation were reluctant to recall their original purpose. But the planet was adamant and she pushed them to the limits; the ground trembled under their roots menacingly. Their patient host wasn’t taking a” No “ for an answer this time!

So the Creators woke up and set in motion; the cocoons of light and silk filled the branches in a frenzied effort to achieve in one night all that was dreamed by the most venerable of their community. Then, the magic struck! The Creators started to add their own personal touch to the new creatures imagined by the Matriarch. They re-lived the joy and elation of bringing up a new life, something marvelous and unseen before. They played with colors and features, size and shape, height and genders until the branches filled with translucent cocoons holding the treasure of a brand new species.

The planet watched in awe the turmoil she created and she smiled from the inside. Something unique was unfolding under her eyes! The Matriarch was about to have a huge surprise.

 

The morning peeked though the scattered rosy clouds and the trembling green foliage of the forest. The youth cuddled inside the tree-hollow shifted in his sleep and mumbled something. He had slept badly, his mind was filled with the dreams he had. Something soft and warm touched his face; he cautiously opened his eyes and turned to see what it was. Another pair of leaf-green eyes looked back at him from a lovely face. The long, reddish-brown strands tickled him and he chuckled. The girl tilted her head and smiled at him; she lent a hand to the youth, gesturing to call him out. He smiled back and took her hand, stood up and left the warmth of his nest behind.

The world around them filled with the soft cracking of the cocoons and the new race took over the planet. The planet sighed and relaxed, watching her new children enjoying the marvels of the world. The Matriarch basked in the morning sun; she was happy and grateful to the little planet. The work of Creation was now completed. The new race would one day reach out and conquer the stars…

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