As I looked out the car window from the back seat of the Audi on my drive back home at the dreary gray winter landscape, I noticed all the trees and wooded areas that dominated the view. There were no leaves, not a sign of green anywhere. They were bare with no sign of life; they were brown the colour of the earth. The only signs of life were on the road - in the cars all around. Red, blue, green- every colour and shape available.Winter does strange things to colour, it's almost as if someone turned down the contrast in the view or dipped it in gray.
I closed my eyes and thought of the time before all the iPads and the iPhones. Of the time before super computers and men on the moon.The time before the talkies and Alice in Wonderland. Before the Lord of the Rings and Columbus, before Industrialization and Renaissance, wooden tools and even the first wheel. The time before the first man. The time of the Trees. Great trees that ruled the world. They were the source and the center of life. Entire ecosystems sprang to life and lived in their nourishing shadow.
Of all the Great Trees there was one who was the Greatest - The Eldar. All the Great trees whispered about his wisdom and kindness. It was said that The Eldar was the first Breather, some even said that The Eldar was of the Earth herself, her expression of life. They all believed that every Breather that followed the Eldar, was his expression and carried a part of his being. The Eldar, of course, never spoke of his beginnings, but just of the future. He spoke of a great many things, but most of all he spoke of two things. The Earth, he said needed to be protected from the Breathers and also that the Breathers needed to be protected from the Earth.The other Great Trees listened and believed but could never really comprehend this logic.They did their best to protect the Breathers from the Earth and the Earth from the breathers. Thus arose all seasons- they nourished the breathers when the sun was warm and protected the Earth by turning brown when the sun grew cold. They did this every year and a pattern formed. All life followed the lead of the Great Trees and slept when it was cold and flourished under the warm sun.
The other thing that The Eldar spoke of was balance. The Great Trees listened , but again, could not comprehend.
Time moved along, faster during the warm season and slower when cold. Fact turned to hearsay and stories to legend. The Great Trees realized their strength and discovered their voice. The loudest among them was heard the most. He was a young oak, tough and strong. He spoke of the Greatness of the Trees, he said they were mighty and that they deserved to dominate the breathers because of their greatness and might. He said, leading the Breathers was necessary- a job for the wise. They were of the old world and controllers of the seasons. Leading the Breathers was a responsibility, he said, as the Great Trees were the only ones who knew about the power of the Earth. It was time to take up their responsibility and not shirk away. The Great Trees listened and this time, they comprehended. They knew what they had to do.
They turned towards The Eldar with belligerence in their hearts and defiance in their eyes, challenging him to disagree. The Eldar grew silent and withdrew within himself. He never spoke a word again, but seemed to shrink in size. The other Great Trees took this to mean that he was passing on, failing to notice that they too shrunk a little each day.
The best way, said the Oak , to care for the Breathers was to have maximum presence on the Earth. The others agreed and spread their roots far and wide. Many new Trees took root and grew. They took their lead from the Great ones, who didn't seem so Great anymore. In fact many times, a Great Tree was considered just a Tree because he did not remember the Oak's message.The wisdom and sayings of The Eldar slowly faded into history, forgotten and discarded. The Trees now believed that the world was theirs to own and the Breathers were to be pitied. They believed in their greatness and their march forward into the future was looked upon with eagerness and excitement.
Many new things happened one season-cycle. Strong winds blew away many Trees and Great Trees in many places. The golden warmth of the sun turned, blazing hot and burned down huge forests. The Trees looked to the Great ones for advice and direction, but it seemed that the Great Trees were passing on faster and faster. The warm season grew warmer and the cold season grew colder. It seemed as if the Earth grew in fury and unleashed her wrath in great force. During a very hot day in a harsh warm season the Oak grew silent and thus the last of the Great Trees passed on. With no one to guide them, the Trees grew into themselves and slowly lost their voices too. Thus, imbalance entered the world and all life forms began their various cycles of ultimate destruction.
.......I opened my eyes, with a feeling that you have when you dream something strange. I tried hard to grasp at tendrils of the dream but they were too fast and slipped away from me. I shrugged it off and switched on my iPad.