Winter Tree

August 25, 2009
By , Washington, DC
I finger the lower right-hand corner of the page, deciding whether or not to sign it. My best friend from the six-year-old population examines my artwork with a critical eye.

“So these are the four seasons,” he begins. Pointing to each of the four trees, he guesses which season each represents. He doesn't consider that maybe I put them in order. I smile.

“This one must be autumn,” he declares, blond head bent close over the paper. “And this one is fall.”

“Autumn and fall are the same.”

The truth takes a moment to set in. “Oh.”

Why did I draw the four seasons as trees, I ask myself. It's such a cliché motif. But the winter tree is my favorite one to draw. I don't know why, considering the memories.

I stood in the shadow of that winter tree the last time she and I spoke. We were only thirteen. The chasm had just split at that point, but my vision was too short. I didn't know that years later, I would still wonder if maybe it was my fault.

I could barely stand under that winter tree when I found myself on the hill in the cemetery, looking at the truth with my eyes but refusing to believe it in my heart.

I've been finding myself walking back to that winter tree recently, wondering if I'm going to lose you, too. I've already lost one of my friends without a goodbye. Please, keep holding on.

“What's the green thing?” he asks.

“A leaf,” I reply. Life. Hope. The night is darkest before dawn. Spring always comes.

“You wrote on the picture. 'Seasons change.'” He thinks, then laughs in his high voice. “Seasons sure do change.”

They sure do.

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MissDarkCross said...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm
I really enjoyed this.
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