A Comfort Tree


Dear A., I started writing about trees and remembered you and an old fir tree with a hole in the middle, which we’ve come across in Nepal. Do you remember it? We lounged in its branches for a while, ate cookies and looked at the valley and the river down below. Its water glistened in the sun and the air was misty with heat. The tree grew into a stone staircase that led towards a village, up on a hill. It stood there for such a long time that its roots grappled and twisted between the stones, forming with them one unbreakable entity. The village and with its narrow, carefully paved road resembled a Hobbit-shire, while the tree guarded its entrance like an ancient nurse, looking after villagers with patience and sympathy. It felt as if we could stay up there in the shade forever, dangling our feet and listening to birds. You were telling me about your brother, whom you’ve lost, and I told you that I’m not so close to my sister, unfortunately. It was a comfort to be there and when I feel cold and lonely I still see that tree in my mind and it comforts me.

From the cold and windy Kiev



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