Dig it?

If at the outset of your existential journey you are assigned the task to cut down a tree without the aid of any equipment you would be puzzled for a while, but the solution would soon hit you: I can’t cut it down with my nails so I’ll do the next best thing and dig it out with my hands. So, you start digging with your hands. At first, expectant about the potential prospects beyond the tree, you start out a bit hastily and you end up injuring your fingers repeatedly that forces you to take some time out to recover. Your second realization comes around this point: In order to make sustainable progress I’ll have to go really slow to get the job down. So you throttle down and decide to take your time. Every now and then, you still injure yourself, though, and you’re constrained to bring the tempo further and further down almost to the point of a standstill. It’s immensely frustrating. You are forced to chip away with infinite patience now. But then, halfway through, deep down amid the roots suddenly the third recognition hits you: It’s not necessary at all to get the tree out of the ground. You stop. This is the first time that it ever occurs to you to question the utter absurdity of the whole situation. Just because I’ve been instructed to cut this tree down it doesn’t mean it’s something I must somehow any-how execute. Why on Earth am I actually doing this? You reluctantly climb out of the pit and take a slow, halting look around the scenery of peaceful stillness surrounding you two. You start pulling back the big heap of ground you’ve diligently dredged up, to re-cover the bare, exposed roots of your tree. In the process you second-guess yourself a few times but there is less and less hesitation in your moves. When you finish, exhausted, you fall back on your back and stare, supine & spent, right up at the leaves of the tree. This is the first time you notice the leaves. You listen to them being played upon by the easy wind. Tears start rolling from the corner of your eye. First, they are salty tears of sorrow but soon they turn into sweet tears of joy.

/One day, you’ll get up from your grub like this and sit against the trunk of that tree of yours to spend some quality time under its lush foliage before giving up the ghost. Hopefully.

 

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