Leaves rustled in the early morning breeze, the trees seemed to quiver at her approach as if in sympathy. She had to go, come to her special place, the place she felt the comfort of eons.
Sitting beneath the old oak that had sheltered her as a child she let go, face in hands, sobs rending the silent stillness. When she could no longer hold on to her smile, when she felt the pressure build to an unbearable pitch she came here.
John was slowly wasting away and there was nothing they could do to stop it. His giant frame that had once carried her across the threshold was now worn and shriveled like a deceased nut in its skeletal shell, skin stretched over bone in lurid relief, a travesty of her man.
She had to smile for him, had to go on loving till her heart tore in tiny pieces, treasuring each snatched moment, yet unable to bare them.
They’d sent him home to die in peace, to DIE! How could she bare it? They’d walked this path together many a time, as children they had played together in these branches. Now soon all that was loved and familiar would be gone, only the tree would remain with its echoes of the past.
The Mayans say trees give strength, the ancient ones yet embraced by many for their healing properties. She didn’t believe such things. Yet sitting there, sheltered by her old companion, she felt a presence. A feeling of peace enveloped her as if the ancient oak knew something she did not. It had a strange sense of eternity that seeped into her. It knew of the seasons, the death of winter the joy of spring when the sap surged forth again bringing life to sleeping branches.
Somewhere in her heart she knew. This was not the end. There would come a time once more, though far off, when those strong arms would hold her again and love would kindle anew. Revived, re strengthened she took the path home a sad smile playing on her lips.