Foliage of Truth: The Story of The Pretty Green Tree
Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness. –Shakti Gawain
The Pretty Green Tree stood tall amongst the others in the well-manicured park of Central City. People strolled along the paths, read on benches, picnicked under trees, and watched their children run with abandon through the playground. As the sun would disappear each evening and the moon would take the throne of the sky, people headed back home to their domestic routines, leaving the park to rest from the day’s activities. Maintenance workers made a pass through the park, cleaning up the disposable traces of human consumption and residence that had been left behind.
While the other trees and their winged inhabitants drifted off to sleep, excited for the next day of sunlight and human admiration, The Pretty Green Tree stayed awake to enjoy the stillness and brisk air the nighttime freely offered. She bathed in the moonlight and dreamt of running streams and rooting down in a more peaceful existence.
The morning came and The Pretty Green Tree dutifully spread her branches for the day’s visitors to take refuge under. She appreciated the lives and energy of the humans. She learned many secrets and truths as one of their solar protectors. The Pretty Green Tree also enjoyed her fellow rooted inhabitants and admired the amount of pride they took as members of Central City’s busiest park.
But she wasn’t like the rest of them. The Pretty Green Tree wanted something different: running water, chirping critters, mossy soil, quiet days. These were the dreams of The Pretty Green Tree.
The foliage world was taught from a young age that wherever you rooted down at the beginning of your life was the home of your intended purpose. It would be physically and spiritually dangerous to do anything else. Many stories of Fallen Trees were passed from one generation to another, a way to communicate to the younger foliage generations the importance of accepting their fate place from a young age and to stay put. The Pretty Green Tree wondered if these stories had any merit or if they were merely folklore. So, she continued to dream.
It was a clear night, stars proudly dancing as far as the eye could see; the dreams of The Pretty Green Tree became too full and alive to keep her still. With a will that was almost not her own, The Pretty Green Tree began to loosen herself from the park’s soil, root by root. The pain seemed irrelevant. She gave her instilled fear of dehydrated death no voice. The Pretty Green Tree moved as if by something inside her and she knew The Journey was taking her by the branch to lead her to the dreamland.
As her final root unlodged from the very earth that held and nursed her for twelve years, a wave of peace and possibilities tickled every leaf adorning The Pretty Green Tree. The Journey had not promised that the road to Running Water would be easy to travel, but it did promise to hold her branch and guide her. Careful not to wake the foliage community, The Journey led The Pretty Green Tree out of the park while the stars applauded and danced with excitement above them. They were on their way.
For three days and three nights, The Pretty Green Tree giggled with anticipation as The Journey revealed small adventures. New sites, new sounds, and new smells were all vibrant company. By day four, The Pretty Green Tree felt quite thirsty. The Journey nudged her along and slowed down to match her pace. Day five brought a sense of instability; The Pretty Green Tree desired to temporarily root down into the next patch of dirt she came across. The Journey discouraged her from attatching her roots until they reached Running Water. They continued on.
Day six was a blur, parchment seeming to cover the dreams with a veil. Flashbacks to the stories of Fallen Trees she had heard as a child ran through her foggy mind. She felt disheartened as her brilliant green foliage faded and began to drop. Lifting each root to get another step ahead felt as if lifting a tree trunk itself. She teetered. She tottered. The Journey caught and supported her for hours at a time without wavering. There was no refuge from the sun and The Pretty Green Tree felt herself drying up. No source of nutrition was available to her other than the faithful companionship The Journey had to offer.
Then things went black.
On the morning of day seven, The Pretty Green Tree awoke to the sound of trickling water. She lay on her side trying to make sense of the cool earth below her. She slowly opened her eyes, expecting to see The Journey ready to give her the daily guidance she had come to seek comfort in. Instead, she saw a glorious stream of swaying water that seemed to be performing a choreographed piece of perfection. Her eyes darted around, wanting to share the moment with someone, but The Journey was nowhere to be found. Its job was done: she had arrived. Her roots reached to the edge of the water, lapping up nourishment like an abandoned dog that had finally made its way out of a dreadful desert. The Pretty Green Tree laid in the spot where she had collapsed the night before, admiring the power The Journey had to have gotten her there. She would forever feel indebted to The Journey, although it would never expect anything in return.
The Pretty Green Tree began to reflect on the Foliage Folklore she had learned in her younger years, which she now saw in a different light. As her trunk hugged the mossy earth and cool gusts of wind played with her leaves, The Pretty Green Tree said to herself, “If this is what it feels like to be a Fallen Tree, may I lie here forever.”