The crooked tree and its desolation


The man’s day began before the sun’s. He dismounted himself from the warmth of his bed, quietly greeting the twilight instead of the dawn.

Carelessly, he lit a small, hand-held candle to guide his way through his rural cabin, and the thin light invaded the darkness of the morning, penetrating the feeble air in front of him. Rubbing his eyes in an attempt to adjust them to the ache of the early morning, he glared at the waxy mess that he set on the table.

It’s the sun’s imposter, he whispered underneath his breath, as to not awake his son. He scoffed, at least the sun doesn’t melt.

In the light of his personal, pseudo-sun, the man plunged each leg into his overalls. As a boy, he used to prance towards his dresser, blithely prepared to take on the day, but as the weather gave up and the trees began to fall, so did his spirit. However, he continued on anyway because the land needed him.

The man solemnly gazed at his reflection in his bedroom window, and behind his wrinkles, he could only see his woe. Behind his quiet eyes, he could only see what once could be.

The mourning of his youth was quickly interrupted by the innocent creeks of the wooden floor behind him. His son stood, almost gawking at the sight of his dejected father.

I’m ready, father. I’m ready to farm. I’m ready for the animals. The plants, too.

We’re not farming today, son.

The small boy pouted, well, why not? What kind of a farmer doesn’t farm?

They’re coming today to cut down the trees.

The small boy didn’t understand why the trees were leaving the land near his home, but he didn’t question his father any further. Instead, his meager feet wobbled outside, and the withered farmer followed behind him.

The light of the sun soon replaced the inept brightness of the candle, and the two of them watched the light illuminate off of the trees’ branches one last time.

The day had barely begun, but it was already time for the trees to go away. As each tree begged not to perish, the flowers carelessly laughed nearby while the men with the axes arrived.

As if the woods were his bedroom window, the farmer could only see his wrinkles, his woe, behind the trees. Before the trees were even taken away, he had already begun to mourn. There was no fight left in him, no will to withhold.

A young lumberjack approached the old farmer. Outwardly staring with no life in his eyes, he said, we’re cutting down all of the straight trees and leaving the rest behind.

The farmer simply nodded.

The sound of death infiltrated the still morning. The boy and his father stood, frozen.

Why are they only stealing the straight trees? Those are the best ones, the young boy said to his father.

They take them for that reason, because they are the best.

But I don’t understand, father.

Neither do I.

Only the crooked trees remained, towering over a sea of broken timber, a sea of broken lives. ”

The withered farmer dragged himself back to his cabin, weighted down by his anguish, which was too heavy to hold. But when he stepped inside, the candle still remained lit.

As the farmer’s breath extinguished the flame, the last straight tree struck the ground. Only the crooked trees remained, towering over a sea of broken timber, a sea of broken lives.

Only the crooked trees remained, but the small boy couldn’t understand why.

Standing at the edge of desolation, the boy softly spoke, I think I’ll miss the trees.

Expecting his father’s voice to respond, the boy turned around, but he was only greeted by the barren land.