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A World Apart

I heard the breeze before I felt it, and as it inevitably came over me, it left me to shudder under its touch, yet still yearn for its gentleness. I looked down and watched my feet dangle in the air above the ground, and, motivated by some notion or the other, leap off onto the ground and stroll forward, as I followed into the looming forest ahead of me. I entered this new world, and was suddenly aware of the deafening cacophony of leaves, all proclaiming themselves separate from one. It is wonderful to admire nature’s earnestness in describing itself to me, regardless of everything surrounding it, and curious to consider the absence of this passion outside of this realm.


As the leaves shouted, they swayed the trees’ branches, sending tremors throughout the tree. I noticed the branches, which stretched upwards, as if in search of something which they did not already hold—some truth, lying on a level just above everyone, waiting to be discovered. They brushed against each other, blending the boundaries between each other, indeed seeming to be one entire collective. However, as I looked down, I saw this was not the case. Although the branches formed a web with each other, each was in fact distinct, retaining itself, reaching out with others only where necessary, and communicating and blending itself only where it chose. The tree was the master. It controlled itself, and it alone held the power of its movements and decisions.


Upon these trees, climbed the children of the forest: the squirrels, the birds, the insects. Some moved up the trees, and used them as a means for learning something new for themselves. Others decided to move downwards. They beat down through the hard earth that I tread upon, and searched for their own purpose, seeking the roots of nature, hoping to understand something lost, old, and forgotten. As I walked, I noticed that I traveled in neither plane. I did not walk up, nor did I walk down, but instead stayed on a common horizontal plane, like all people. And I thought, “why should I not move up or down? Why should I stay content with the current nature of things? Why should I remain so focused on moving along the grain, when it seems so reasonable to cross the grain outwards, outside of the tree, and find something vast, undiscovered, and perhaps even beautiful?”


I looked forwards and saw more of the trees, in great bounty, each different from the other. Yet all of them, realizing that their end was near, flared outwards with passion. They morphed, they changed, they made up for the lost chances of the year, and started up in a dizzying flame of yellows, oranges, and reds, each seeking to relieve themselves of what they had so long contained. Their self-confidence was admirable. They had no care for the thoughts of others, for they trusted their own. Other trees, they remained stolid, fixed in color and position. They feared the outburst of passion, and feared the shame of baring themselves for all to see once they do. They envied the joy of the other trees, regretted they could not do so, were shamed for keeping to themselves, and ultimately found themselves afraid of what others saw.



Another breeze passed by me, and this time, its touch chilled me, and stirred me from my thoughts. I turned around and saw the darkening sky, and as I began walking out of the woods. I exited, and once again, found myself in a world very distinct from the forest, on a side that must be hundreds of miles away, yet stood merely a few yards away. I found myself waiting for the next time some sudden impulse would drive me inwards again, deeper into the heart of nature.





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