I Had a Home on a Branch of a Tree

Shweta Dubey


Copyright 2018 by Shweta Dubey


Painting of an old tree.

Childhood has always been that dizziness for me, which I forgot to feel while I was small. And now, all I could do is to reminisce it into these words. I thank God for a good memory which lets me stare in the past. It only takes a moment to get lost somewhere out there and it feels good. So at times, in the middle of a weary schedule, when the present glares at me with heap of work and responsibilities, I stare at her, falling in awe.

One of those memories took me back to my grandpa's home. Which is surely mine too. A summer morning, when the sun is at its zenith, she comes running to the swirling sound of the peepal tree. A well grown peepal standing like the hand of the King Infront of this huge Mansion. The water of the well was always cold since sun never got the opportunity to smile at it. And the spaces outside the Mansion was always soothing and cold enough for us to play even in the hottest noons.

In the nights, it used to be cold as if the winter use to pass by, even in the month of may. Dark enough, a new place for a toddler to sleep. But the swirling sound never stopped making her feel like, she was alone. On some nights, she used to sit on the cottage, staring at those huge branches and the way it was always alive and loyal even when all used to sleep. "It might be someone's home too", she used to wonder. And that wondering took a leap ahead when all she wanted was to climb the tree.

"All set. I want to go up there, Grandpa", she says one fine morning keeping both her hands on her waist. Excited enough to know, what's there up and which home was better, the haveli with walls or the space between the bark of the tree.

"Okay sweetie. But be careful and you are strictly not aloud to climb more than one branch. You'd be here", He pointed at the branch which was just one climb above." And, if your father sees it. Well we both will have to share the scoldings, okay? So come down fast and tell me how did it go.", He smiled at her being the best partner in crime.

So as mean as she could be, she asked her brother to climb too. She always loved company to do stuffs like these. She holds the grip to the nearest branch and climbs slowly. There was a space for two to sit comfortably and they reach there and sit. I giggle seeing her expressions as if the butterflies gushed in her stomach like an andrelaine rush and I smiled at the tree's swirling sound feeling as if it was happy to have me here to feel her happiness.

Nature always has its own way to have conversation with you, if you have a connection. Call out for the sunshine, it will kiss you slow and steadily, unless your scars fill up. Call out the rain to sing you a song or call out the land to grow flowers in your broken pieces, it will. The nature will always come if you call. And that was the first time, I felt it. It's not a surprise anymore, when I really need someone, it's the love of mother nature that shines in the darkest times.

I sat there for a long while and stared at little me and felt those feelings of how I never wanted to come down. I wanted a tree house and I asked my grandpa to make one. On which he laughed and said "why not, I will for sure". But that little dream remained a dream unfulfilled.

It was another summer when I came back to grandpa. Some strangers were climbing at the top of the tree. I was a minor yet and couldn't figure out why the tree was howling a little more than usual. All I could do is stare at the leaves and small branches falling down. I always wanted to know, whose shelter was this calming and beautiful. That's when I saw these scorpions running away. The sparrows, the pigeons flying away. Wrecking nests and snakes slipping away. It freaked me out for awhile but somehow I knew, they were never going to harm me for that they knew me well.

It's been awhile I've visited again. The shadow of the tree was my grandma's favorite place. She used to sit there and watch us play while she used to chop those vegetables, brought fresh from our farms. But now, we have lost our shelter and a place to play along with my grandma's care. It doesn't feel like to visit home since with her, the tree left too.

The time does fly by. Now, being in my adulthood, the work has hovered my existence. The people don't seem to have that innocence and curiosity to climb a tree. But even today, when I look outside my window, I can't bear the pain of seeing a tree being cut. Those dead leaves lying on the ground seem like crying for help. The birds chirp since their nests fall off while the Meadows mourn, seeing their ally fall of just for the woods, these humans take a life. Even from a distance, it feels as if I've had some pretty memories and I can never get enough of them.

Sometimes I wonder, how somethings have never spoken the way they should have, how they haven't made you feel the way they could have, and the way they left , and did let us feel empty even though they had no purpose to do so. Sometimes, all it takes is a connection and believe me, we find these connections where we feel like home. Hence I can never get enough of somethings which 'left' me in awe.

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