Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yesterday a leaf decided to come to life, a leaf so tiny and fragile you could say it is nothing more than your imagination's spring. And still, even though so incredibly close to being invisible at first, that leaf grasped to life with each of its cells.

Its bright light green made people turn their heads and some would even stop and watched it for a while- it was life itself they saw in front of their eyes, life stronger than anyone could imagine in that dark and chilly afternoon of February.

Spring had come quite early that year. Quite hesitant at first, the sun got warmer and warmer till snow melted into huge streams of water coming down the mountains through the dark, sinuous valleys; strong, fast waters that invaded everything- houses, gardens, yards, people's mind and soul.

But then those days went by and became just some faded memories. Now it seems as if God in his anger against the mankind's sins had forbidden the sun. For days on the sky was overcast and everything seemed as still as if nature itself had turned itself into a painting. The air became hard to breathe, it became almost solid and the everlasting clouds made it all be as those polar days that everybody heard about- those days that always seem to be on the verge of irreality, of fantasia.

Jonathan was one of the people watching the leaf- at that moment that leaf seemed to be their last hope. Yes, it was indeed the first to appear, but somehow in a strange way they felt it was also the last, the only one. And so now, they all stood there like true religious worshippers, gathering around, more and more each day, each moment of their pathetic lives.

There were some that even started to write prayers and they kept on whispering them like zombies, on and on. And life went on like this for days, for weeks it seemed. People started even doing things that not long ago seemed meaningless to them. Some of the oldest and considerably wiser men decided that sacrifice was needed. Don't think I'm talking about rivers of blood shed by dozens of virgins... No, they had in mind a more subtle kind of sacrifice, and that sacrifice would have to be collective. They simply decided they would all have to leave their houses, their daily chores and come to the leaf. They would stay there until there was a sign of forgiveness coming from beyond the dark blnaket of clouds.

They summoned everybody from the village to the tree. They all came, some already hope painted on their face, eyes glistening at the perspective of a better life in the near future. Some others quite reluctantly: they had been working all their life to build a house, a shelter for later days.

They all went there around the fertile tree, but Jonathan. The night before this sudden, painful and yet full of hope decision, he had a dream. He dreamt about them all going around the tree, staying there quite stupidly while their houses were being plundered by fearful, fierceful knights coming all the way from the northern realm. He had dreamt about houses burning to the ground, about people being killed, people dear to him, from the village.
One of them was more dear to him than is the sea water to the fish, or the rich dark land to teh delicate lilies in the valley that used to grow all around their village. That one sweet, gentle girl he always had in mind was Tipareth. And that dear beloved girl was killed in the dream.

The next morning while all the others were tranquilly heading towards the leaf, he looked for Tipareth, trying to talk her into running away with him. Yet, she was nowhere to be found. When asked about her, people would just shrug and turn their back on him.

Desperately he searched for her for hours on and on until exhausted, he set on a stone near a once beautiful and rich garden. Now deserted and empty, the garden looked like the surface of Mars, as it was described in the ancient sagas of the village- bare, dry, lifeless and dark. he knew somehow, he could even feel it through every cell of his body, that they were wrong. Their sagas, which were the pride of the village, hid more than showed at first sight. It wasn't just about glorious event from their history, or about braveheart knights that fought courageously for the people's well- being. It was more about all the blood taht had been shed, innocent blood , most of the time. What had been considered heroic and act of bravery was in fact cowerdice and crime. And now they were all to pay for that....
Tiny bits of their history, of his life itself were pumping before his eyes, snapshots of a better, but superficial life.

He then realised- they had all cared for their properties, doing eveything possible to make things work properly. For them the richness of their land was enough and they did all to keep that. Fortunes were spent each year to have the best garden of all, to build the largest mansion of all. They invested in their ultimate goals everything they had- money, time, efforts- in their greediness they even invested what they no longer had. They kept using the word very often, yet without realising the word had become shallow. "Love" was no longer there to enrich tha land of their heart. It was just a meaningless word, an empty glass once filled with the most precious of wines. A word on eveybody's lips, but in no one's soul. Blinded by ambitions, searching for beauty at all costs they had been trampling on it as wild horses would on the green pasture of spring.

Now it was all clear, what people needed was love, what that leaf needed to survive was love- their love.

Revived by the thoughts Jonathan made for the tree to share them with the others.....