When the last November rain died out in the grey and chilling world, autumn closed the door behind her. Brought on wings of heavy blizzards, winter finally set in, reigning upon the land with an iron fist. The cold breath of the earth gradually blurred away the thin line separating the glittering ocean of snow and the morose, ashen dome of the skies.
Crushed under the armor of thick ice, the river was only a faint whisper. The riverbank was buried in the deep snow. The old tree wasn’t sleeping yet. Though his ever thinning sap, retrieved from the web of arteries was now hidden bellow till springtime, he was unable to relax and delve into the three month of dreams. For the first time, he realized that he was too old to endure the harshness of this season.
His cracked and weathered bark was like an old and shabby coat, wrapped around a fragile, vulnerable body. Even his tiniest twigs and branches, his fingers reaching for the sun, were getting old and friable. The tree was tired. His mind was wandering, finding solace in the memory of the summer….Oh, how wonderful his coat of leaves was! And how much joy the bunch of little sparrows used to bring him! They were such a boisterous, lively gathering and they seemed to love to rest and play inside his crown of greenery. He could remember almost every new chick hatching in the tiny nests cradled in his branches…The tree smiled inwardly at those memories.
A gush of chilling wind rattled his empty branches and he suddenly came back to reality. He felt a pang of his heart; he was missing his little friends but he knew they were gone, finding shelter closer to the village and the homes of humans. The wind increased his push and under its merciless grip, the old tree was painfully cracking. He closed his eyes and tried to shut down his mind, hoping that it will lessen the hurt. As the blizzard rose around him, his spirit was drifting away, falling slowly into a void of never-ending calm.
A soft pricking of his thumbs of sticks halted his spiraling for a moment. He opened his eyes with difficulties; the storm has stopped and his branches were full of fluffy balls of grey-brown birdies. The sparrows were paying a visit to their good friend. The tree sighed and his spirit rose in joy once again. Up in the skies, a clear azure window opened in the clouds, and the sunlight poured through it, warming up the old joints of the tree.
-Thank you….-he whispered. I’m so happy you didn’t forget me…Now I can sleep more easily!
The sparrows took flight towards the patch of blue sky, carrying with them the soul of the tree…higher and higher. The old wood relaxed and cooled gradually but deep down, hidden in the labyrinth of roots, a young sprout was dreaming of the warming sun that will call him to the surface….The dream of the tree, carried away on wings of birds was flying free towards the light.