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"Grampa, Grampa", floated the sweet little voices, dripping with mischief. Those voices could only belong to little ones, the mischief laced with innocence, both virtues blending into each other, creating a concoction from which there never is an escape. "Grampa, Grampa ... Look at us" squeal the little voices, dripping with delight at having discovered something.
I shake the stupor which had been dragging me down, lulling me into a nap. At my age, my limbs tired and heavy, a stupor settles over me rather too willingly, I muse. I cannot help but smile at the little ones as they delight in the strong breeze that is blowing across the plains.
I was so little too once, I tell myself. I cannot help but tumble down memory lane. I cannot help but think of the wonderful times we had together as a family. Memories which still bring hints of pain alongwith them. But memories, as I’ve learnt over the past few years, are to be treasured, memories are to be valued and cherished – for memories are all that I have left.
I roll back to my baby days. It brings a smile to my face. Babies are such tiny creatures, I think – resilient and supple. Tender, yet strong. I used to have a whole horde of cousins back then. We were natural playmates. It was such a carefree time, hours of basking in the sun, soaking up the bounty that that ball of fire in the sky had to offer. As little children, we always turned our faces up to the sun - to feel its warmth, to feel the flickers of its fiery tendrils play peek a boo with us. There is something so cheerful about the sun, something that lights up something within your heart and makes you want to sing out aloud. I remember dancing to my heart's content on sunny days when I was young. As you grow older, nature makes you stronger but at the same time makes you less supple.
We used to love it too when the skies opened up and unleashed their might and fury upon all the beings on earth. I remember the way rain used to lash down and the way me and my cousins used to huddle together – giggling, happy and blithe. The rain used to pelt down on us and it would just be a matter of a few minutes before we got drenched. We soaked up the rain like thirsty desert travelers sighting an oasis. There was and still is something so cleansing about the rain, something so pure, something so magical. It starts out as tiny droplets which seem almost hesitant to start their journey from their mansions in the fluffy clouds all the way down to the hard, mud streaked planes. How must the raindrop feel, I wonder – as it comes crashing down towards earth like a meteor. Does it fear its dissipation as it hits ground or does the raindrop feel the burgeoning excitement – pretty much like a bungee jumper about to free fall into the Grand Canyon. I've always wondered, I've always dreamed.
My limbs feel heavy all at once. "Middle age shows on your middle" goes the saying. Well, it sure was true with me. Age was definitely making its presence felt around my middle. Yet, I felt strong. There is a lot of strength in the heart. The strength of a survivor. Yes, I have been through a holocaust of sorts rather early in life. It was a massacre that left me bereft, without family or friends. But survive, I did.
Little giggles, warm, cheerful spirals of delighted sounds float up to my old ears and warm my heart. I look down upon the little ones merrily indulging in some of their favourite childhood pastimes. "Grow, little ones, grow" says my heart.
My eyes have been used to the flat brown plain land for far too long. These old eyes now yearn to see the valleys bathed in the lush green of leaves. My feathered friends settle upon me and chirp merry tunes, the little saplings around me indulge in life like only children can - cheery, untroubled, with a happy-go-lucky attitude.
Life goes on for me, the old oak tree. Yes, I am a tree, the only one that withstood the might of the humans who came at us with axes, machetes and saws, to quench their greed.
"Grow, little ones, grow" says my heart as my limbs feel droopy and heavy with sleep. Even in stupor my heart floods with delight at the very thought of watching a carpet of lush green which is sure to embrace these valleys very soon.
Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
P.S : This was, once again, a writing prompt which simply said "Write from the point of view of a lone tree in a huge deforested valley."