The Ode to the Woods

The ravages in the wake of the storm, what it did to the hundreds of old and new trees and how they lay strewn ..dead, and yet continued to support the birds that came for the fruit. I felt a deep pain.. The insides churned and I was sick for 2 days. I felt the […]

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The ravages in the wake of the storm, what it did to the hundreds of old and new trees and how they lay strewn ..dead, and yet continued to support the birds that came for the fruit. I felt a deep pain.. The insides churned and I was sick for 2 days. I felt the grief.. it was strangely not too different from the grief of the hundreds of people dying …it was as if the earth was also grieving.

I saw the Municipal guys come and cut and saw the trees and dump them in large trucks and I could not get the image of the many dead bodies also facing similar end.

How beautiful, I thought, trees are there for the last rites of human beings, and now the human being take the trees home. We prayed for the Trees. Trees have been a very integral part of my life.

As I began to think of the tress and sudden flood of realization just came..

Trees have been an integral part of Human life…

How? ……Here it is

They are with us ..from our first breath till the last..

When we are born.. we are laid in a safe cradle..

We grow up with toys made of wood, sometimes a rattle

and sometimes a ladle

Toddler years, we learn to walk on wooden tri cycle we sat

Some grow up playing with sticks and transition  to cricket bats ..

We start school and there it is again..

the books and pencils.. made of wood

and the rows of hard scribbled benches

and the swing ..waiting under the tree it stood

In the dawn of youth, the shade of trees become a respite

for broken hearts or tender blossoming love ..

And then comes marriage. with the ceremonies with fire…

and wood above and below .

Homes get set up, made of tall columns of wood strong.

And a new journey begins ..on a bed ..with songs.

The food that we eat and bless every day,

And at some time the farmers lay

In a field besides the plough.. made of wood..

And the wheel on which the earthenware  stood

Cultures that pray have wooden beads in their hand

and some that keep turning the prayer wheel .. with the bowl in hand.

Memories held of love, in the soft edges of the frame

The altars are kept sacred.. held by the same..

The music kept alive ..with instruments we play..

the cymbal the guitar the flute and the djembe

The art continues of an easel and brush

Even as we hear the wind chime in the soft hush

We slowly transition to the dusk.. and as we pray

We look up to the cross for guidance in some way

When the wobble, on old age we blame

we are back to the support of the solid cane

Even as we journey the last journey we all must make…

The logs for the pyre or the casket to be buried..

There really is just one task and that cannot be hurried…

As the sun sets..and the logs are ready

And the small feeble matchstick lights..

And long flames into the sky it sends

As this lifelong journey.. with the faithful wood..

for now ….ends.

-Rhea

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