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Lilacs, Oak Trees, and Honey

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The bittersweet smell of lilacs meets my nose in a similar fashion that honey meets a biscuit. It is slow, a dragging flow of the natural goodness that the recipient is so thankful to receive. Unlike honey, the lilacs are unusual. They blossom precisely on March 11th, beautifully ignoring the presence of Mr. Jack Frost and carefully clearing themselves a path through the uninvited snow. Elegantly, my clumsy body follows the pathway as the September sun melts the abundance of February snow. There is something magical about the sun in September, the way the rays seem to trace her beloved face or the way the heat seems to warm his frigid body. Although sadly, the September sun appears for only thirty days, leaving the other 335 days envious of its brilliant performance.
In an essence, I continue walking along the path, bathing in the sun I love, smelling the melancholy air and glancing ahead, looking for the tree. The tree sounds rather generic, another mediocre destination in my normal, distinctive routine, although this tree defines normality. The big oak, the name I often call it, stands alone in a clearing past the lilac field on the east side of fern grove. Beneath the tree’s shade lie two stumps, perfectly placed on the forest floor. The air is reminiscent of young lovers, swept away with the hustle and bustle of life, finding comfort in the serenity surrounding the tree. In the center of the trunk of the oak lies an engraved heart with two initials, diligently carved with demonstrated perfection. This heart, or the John Hancock of my grandparents, stands triumphant, marking the exact place where they first fell in love. Underneath the tree, they mapped out a life using sticks and stones, and fallen leaves. Underneath that oak, I developed the identity of who I am and who I hope to be.
Of course, my arrival at the oak is dependent on the weather: the sunshine, the rain, or the ache in my heart, the pain in my side. Sometimes I walk through the forest a million times, only to find an empty hole where the tree used to stand, while on other visits, the leaves whisper my name in the wind, calling me to my favorite getaway.
Today, there is no wind, no rain, no sleet, no hail, just the September sun, the lilacs, and me. I have yet to enter the forest on my quest for the oak, I simply stand at the edge, looking in. The other trees glare at my presence, seemingly disgusted with my previous visits. I have a knack for ignorance, ignoring the world except for the miniscule detail that I feel requires my attention. Inevitably, my attention has longed for my oak, my tree, and my safety blanket from the harsh realities. Although that blanket starts to lose its warmth, that tree starts to die, and that attention begins to wane. With this new sense of self-fulfillment and self-discovery, I take a step in the forest. Directly in front of me stands a pine, tall and beautiful, shedding needles like dogs shed fur. With a quirky smile and bob of my head, I embrace the tree, hugging the trunk as if it is a long lost friend. Once satisfaction reaches my heart, I move to my left, crack a smile, and hug the next tree in line.



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shoelessjoe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm
I love this one... like a lot. ;) please keep writing
 
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