The trees taught her how to love

This is somewhat of a part two to yesterdays post, “The truth about love”. Hope you enjoy…

It lay heavy on her heart and occupied much of her thoughts. It had been nearly three weeks since she left. She needed to escape the maelstrom life was dealing her. She had been staying with her sister in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of the suburbs. The area was lush and beautiful. This is what she needed. Some time away to clear her mind and bring some kind of focus back to her life.

It was a Sunday and she had laid in bed the entire day staring at the ceiling. The time on her phone said 16:23. She forced herself out of bed and into the shower. She stood under the warm water, allowing it to cascade over her entire body, wishing it would wash away all her troubles and worries.

She decided to at least try enjoy the last few hours of sunlight before Monday came. She climbed in her car and drove. She drove in silence, appreciating the natural beauty of the area. The late afternoon sky glowed a warm yellow, making the trees and plants seem even more beautiful. She smiled. She could still see the beauty in times of chaos. Her eyes fell on her hands on the steering wheel and moved toward her wedding band. She began feeling the sadness well up inside her. She saw an open field with one big tree standing tall and decided to pull to the side of the road and get out. She could feel the tears wanting to escape.

She walked over to the big tree standing gloriously in the afternoon light. There was a slight breeze causing her branches and leaves to dance. She could feel the life the tree possessed, even though it stood in an open field with only dry grass as company. She looked upon the big tree and wept. She sobbed silently as her tears fell to the dry grass.

Further down the road there was a man riding a beat-up old bicycle. The stranger saw her standing in the field, staring at the big tree and decided to stop and join her. The stranger walked up next to her with his bicycle at his side, but kept his sights fixed upon the tree.

Beautiful, isn’t she?”

She turned toward the elder stranger and nodded with tearful eyes and managed to force a smile. The stranger must have been in his fifties. He wore a brown coat and fedora and rode an old rusted bicycle. The stranger never once took his sights off the big tree. He stood there beside her, gazing upon its greatness.

The tree’s beauty is certainly worthy of your tears. A tree can tell you the most beautiful story of love, yet can also tell you a sorrowful story. Perhaps you weep for its beautiful love story, or maybe you weep for its tale of sorrow. Either way, each story is a face of love.”

She stood silent, looking up at the tree while her tears streamed down her now rosy cheeks. She didn’t say a word.

I don’t think you weep for the tree’s beauty, I think you weep for love. Love and its different faces are important to learn and experience. One of the greatest teachers of love are the trees, they can teach you how to love, you know.”

The stranger paused. She smiled through teary eyes.

Love can be confusing, and when there is too much confusion it is harder for love to flow. The trees stand proud in love. They love unconditionally. They provide shelter for many animals and insects out of love. The animals take of their fruit and still, season after season they provide shelter and food. There is a sorrowful side to a tree’s love too. The trees love so much so, that they provide all Earth’s life with oxygen. The trees love us enough to give us breath of life, and how do we return the love? By cutting and felling them for our use. By demolishing forests to make way for malls, houses and any other way we like to show off. Despite all the pain we cause, we still breath. The trees show dedication, devotion and sacrifice to all life on Earth. May we all love like the trees.”

The stranger didn’t so much as make eye-contact with her as he turned his bicycle around and wheeled it back toward the road. She stood there staring at the beautiful tree as she thought about what the stranger had said. The tears rolled from her eyes, but the sobbing had seized. She glanced down at the wedding band on her finger, and although she still felt a certain sadness, she still smiled. She tried to appreciate this particular face of love.

Before she walked back to her car she looked upon the big tree one last time. She was thankful the tree practised dedication, devotion and sacrifice. Because of that, she had breath in her lungs and she realised that it was those things that gave breath to love.  

The truth about love

He spent the night before in a drunken stupor. The pressures of life was getting too much. Every choice he made seemed in vain. He had the best intentions for everything he did, yet his decisions and actions had consequences that panned out very differently to what he envisioned.

He could still taste the alcohol on his breath as he forced himself off his couch. He caught a glimpse of the photograph that sat on the shelf. Such happy times, he thought. Funny how so much can change in several months. The photograph brought a sadness and a yearning for the past, but he shook it from his mind as he downed a glass of cold water.

Since she left he hardly cared to keep the fridge and pantry stocked. Hunger caused his stomach to ache. He hadn’t eaten properly for three days, and his binge the night before didn’t help. He brushed his teeth, changed his t-shirt and left his house.

The restaurant was small and it’s atmosphere relaxed. He sat at the table in the corner, by the window. There were a few conversations happening at surrounding tables. At a table across the modest room, there were a group of girls who sat silently, each in front of their laptop tapping at their keys. They looked foreign.

He then noticed the waitress. She was beautiful. She seemed to radiate a certain energy, which caused him to smile. His eyes moved down to his hands and rested on his wedding band. His smile slowly faded.

The waitress walked over to his table and asked if she could take his order. All of a sudden he noticed he was slightly nervous, as he pulled his gaze from his hands. Their eyes locked and he couldn’t help but smile at her, and she did the same. They shared a fraction of a second of a moment, but a moment nevertheless and he felt so certain she felt the same. She didn’t have to write down his order. She smiled as she assured him his meal wouldn’t take long and casually walked back toward the till. His gaze remained with her and although he couldn’t see her face, he hoped that she was still smiling.

A stranger all of a sudden sat down on the chair opposite him. “She is beautiful, isn’t she?”

The stranger must have been in his mid fifties. He wore a brown coat and fedora. His skin was brown and worn by the sun. His beard seemed somewhat dirty and unkept and the smell of cigarettes clung to him.

Taken by surprise, he asked if he could help the stranger and kindly said he wasn’t looking for company.

The two of you shared a moment just then. Not many people get to share moments like those too often. It’s in moments such as those when you can tell if someone was meant for you.”

He was taken aback and felt incredibly confused with the stranger, but gave the stranger enough respect as to remain silent and allow him to continue.

I know love and its different faces when I see it. I saw it just then between you and the waitress.” The stranger paused. “And I also saw it in your sadness when you looked down at your wedding band. Love has many faces and many effects and all of them should be cherished.”

He was surprised at the strangers words but couldn’t falter him. He remained silent but with more interest as he let the stranger talk.

Many have misplaced the truth about love. Do you want to know the truth about love? The truth is, there is no one person just for you. There is no one soul-mate out there for each of us, there are many and each wears a different face of love. The truth about love is, we can fall in love with anyone. Anyone we choose, we have the ability to love them. What really makes love flourish is the dedication and devotion to that one you choose. With that dedication and devotion comes sacrifice – to see their happiness over yours, which ultimately should be yours, and by investing your devotion, dedication and sacrifice makes that person you chose to love, the one. The special one, who is unlike anyone else in the world, because they have your unique love. That, my friend, is the truth about love.”

Before he could say a word the stranger stood up, tipped his fedora, took a toothpick from the table and walked out the restaurant.

He sat there perplexed at the strange encounter, of which no one else in the restaurant seemed to take notice. Just then the beautiful, radiant waitress brought him his order. He smiled more care-free now as he thanked the waitress. There was a look in her eyes that made him feel love and he wished to be able to return it.

As he ate he thought about the stranger and his words about love. The stranger didn’t necessarily say anything he did not know before, but it felt as though this arbitrary encounter with him brought a bit of clarity to his life. It didn’t make things easier, but he just felt a little more enlightened.

He shared one last more moment with the waitress as he paid for his meal. Her smile made him feel love again as he thanked her and left. The rest of the way home he thought about the stranger, the waitress, his life and of love, but three words resonated within him; dedication, devotion and sacrifice.