smile

Whispering Trees in the Tussle of the Wind.

 

It began as a grey day where rain gathered in round droplets on leaves. Soft sounds of sprinkling rain mixed to form mud concoctions and made for a hazy-lazy day.

It was puddle-jumping wonderful weather, the giddy-joyous kind. Woodland swamps and lowlands with waterways were kissed with small leaping frogs. The roundness of nature, branches leaning in for hugs and curved paths, bending perspective. Fresh lavender and eucalyptus trees fragranced my steps.

I thought of other soul delights, molasses cookies mixed with coffee smiles and kitchen laughter. The warmth and coziness of cabin pine and the hushed tones of a veiled landscape. I was thinking about the secret lives of trees, specifically evergreens.

Here, my view consists of acacias, thorny trees — and now, the sudden appearance of a hornbill duo offering greetings at my window. Is it curiosity, a good omen, or a search for food?

My mind returns to paths of red earth and the braille of bark — tree rings that read like palmistry. Can I master a new art and decode this mystery? I am catapulted in time. Reflections in weepy windows show images of a mini-me with words trapped like cotton candy. There was always the welcome escape of running into the neighborhood’s trees.

The air is crisp and sometimes magic forms. Fog escapes mouths, but rings are relegated to the few. Who doesn’t love the feeling of corduroys, the embrace of a well-worn fabric to fit only your shape? A weirdo-dance arises. I have captured the limelight. Only the sky is witness to my insta-delight in a vast field of dewy grass, a hint of mist and newly soaked shoes.

Delicately stepping here, you might notice the brown bushbuck passing in the woods. It peers back to assess your next move and then gently strolls away.

There are tall trees, bent ones, crooked, short and bushy. I have no personal critique; they offer such diversity and stable homes to chirping birds. In the foreground, the chatter and clamoring of yellow finches darting in and out among the shrubs has my attention. It’s a game of chase or hide-and-seek.

Walking among the crinkled leaves, pebbles lead to a rushing creek. The bridge peeks out and offers safe passage to the forest’s other side. Water carving pathways around stone, like the gentle footsteps of women carrying goods on their head, making their way through the dense forest.

I see the steps under so much weight as if they are caressing the earth, and it reminds me of the quiet steps of elephants and startling young ones whose trunks swing limp as they attempt their childish trumpeting. White flowers line the creek and I think, what secrets do lilies and frangipanis share? Is theirs a language in signs and vibration like the ripples across an ocean?

I wonder, how do trees smile? Because when I see them, I do. Simplicity and complexity at once. Different trees here, different ones there. So many miles apart, so many diverse paths. In the tussle of the wind, there is the soft rumbling of leaves and the whispering of trees. Listen and they will share, your home is everywhere.

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Jolie Marie Carey is an East Coast native who has spent much of her life traveling, living and working outside of the U.S. Her favorite travel stories include hiking in Nepal, hiding from the law in Timbuktu, Mali, and living in a tent in South Sudan. She derives inspiration from magic in the everyday, words, conversations with random people and close friends. She believes laughter is the key to transcending all differences. She has been fortunate to teach Yoga in Haiti. As a Gemini, she is pulled between living simply, dancing under the stars, and trying to impact the world through bureaucratic means where she benefits from high-end parties.

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