The Canopy of Life

My first memory is of floating down, away from the sky. Having had no memory of what came before, it took a lifetime. So young and full of hope as I started my long journey down to the earth.

My resting place smells and looks familiar with leaves of those I’ve left behind in the sky. Something about them is different. There is no breeze to flutter their bright green dance in the sunlight. They are dry and crisp, no longer supple in the wind.

As I break free of the earth, I know myself new. I’m a new life, a smaller version of those I’ve left behind. In time, I will grow and stand proud amongst the majesty of the canopy above me.

Many years I stood my ground. Welcomed by my friends as my roots spread and intertwine with theirs. Our memories shared as we grow. Seasons ever changing around us, giving us light and water to grow strong and tall.

In the distance, we can hear screaming of breaking wood. It is shuddering through our network of sharing and memories through our roots. The screams and vibrations rushing towards us, as destruction travels closer. Fear shaking the canopy.

My friends are falling, trembling with the terrible screams of teeth biting into the oldest tree besides me. Despair and loneliness magnified as it falls, crashing to the ground with a final terrible roar.  I am standing alone where a crowd once stood.

My turn has come. The determination of humanity to destroy me bites into my side. Tearing at me with its sharp finality. My days of dancing in the wind with my friends has come to an end. The weight of my agony throwing me to the ground, my own canopy offering its last shudder as it hits the ground amongst the leaves of old.

Darkness has been my only companion for a full cycle. My once limber body has dried out.

Many new lives have dawned. I am now many, my old life multiplied, but somehow flat. I am strange leaves full of words, held together by a new trunk. My canopy replaced by a terrace of books and millions of words on the shelf.

Craig Worcester
Aug 21 2021

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Comments:

I thought this was brilliant Craig. I loved the references in the last paragraph. Extremely clever!

Tracy Windross
Oct 27 2021