We looked up

2 Jan

We looked up to try to see the sky, but the oaks blocked out everything except for isolated streaks of shifting blue that managed to penetrate the foliage. The oaks were an ever-encasing species, arriving again and again at a place they had never arrived at before. Arrival is like that particular moment with the oaks. They begin their day in the dark, and again and again discover themselves in sunlight, now muted, now fierce. They find themselves where they have never been before, and where they have never been before is where they once were before they arrived again where they were never going to be. And they were always going nowhere, in the way of trees, swaying where the wind blows, reaching in this direction or that, straying from the upright, but always arriving back at a place they have never been, slightly swaybacked today, older than they once were, and on their way again to where they have never been before. At some point, as we stopped to look up, a violent wind – one that we could barely feel where we were there on the forest floor – tore at the tops of the trees, revealing a swath of blue that raised our spirits momentarily. But the branches snapped back, as though angry at being tugged aside so indecorously, and the small pool of hope we’d felt closed over again like the eye of an animal closing for the last time beneath the gaze of its stalker.

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