The Oak Tree

“Papa, What does Grandpa treasured the most?”
He looked at his kid, smiled and said “I remember, dad used to love this tree.”

I listened to them, I stood tall, high and mighty, old and rugged. I knew they were talking about my best friend.
It hurts to watch him leave. Humans make so feeble attempts in living yet death approaches as a surprise. My best friend died a week ago. His family came down to the village, cried falsely. All they wanted was his property. The factories he owned, the land he owned, all to be divided into his sons.
I wondered if they cared about the old guy. Which son will take me? Am I a property too?

I remember the day when he was born, a proactive lad, vigilant and dumb. He would climb up high on me to see the whole village. He etched his name on me several times. Shared everything with me.
I remember letting him tie a swing on one if my branches, bringing friends over to play. I was his best buddy.
He built his tree house on me. His own palace, our own palace. I remember him bringing his girlfriend over, watching stars  and later making love.

Then he grew up and I stood here waiting for his arrival from town. I saw seasons years pass by and he didn’t come.
Then after 20 long years I saw him, arriving back at our palace. He looked middle aged and he shared his stories, new stories, just like the old times. His success, his wife, his kids and how much he missed his childhood. He stayed with me, till his last days. We grew old together but he was the one to leave first. Again.

I stand here today, now weaker and watch his kids sharing tears.
I joined to mourning by shedding leaves. My trunk hurts, the place where he etched his name pains the most.
Then I heard the sound of the knife, the poke. There he was, the grandchild of my friend. His mirror image etching his name on me.
I know you are still here. Let’s grow old again.

My oak tree lives, eternal spectator of many lives.

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