Just for a day, or two, I wish I could stop being human and be a tree instead. I think everyday about what life would be like if I were a different kind of creature or living thing. I find the task of being human increasingly tiring and overwhelming. At times I want it all to stop. I feel so unnatural, sitting in my head all day, staring out of the world through a kaleidoscope of endlessly shifting thoughts and feelings. Each day I go one more step along the world. One more, then one more.. and another, and another.. That’s it, keep going! You’re doing great. You’ve got it!
Perhaps if I was one of the willow trees overlooking the river things would be simpler. They live and die without worries or desires. Unlike humans they have no opinions. They are silent, gentle and anonymous creatures – unburdened by thought. When the wind blows they wave to me with their swaying leafy green tendrils. Hello, hello, hello! I reply. Some trees give great big sweeping hellos and others give tiny little shaking ones. It’s nice to walk along and learn their characters.
I’ve found that I relate to trees, particularly the old giant ones with gnarled flanks and thick sprawling branches. I would have tough, well-weathered bark. I feel as though I am already ancient myself. I have so much history under my skin and in my bones. Too much. Making me creak. Creaaaaak. The trees can be still as everything else passes through: all the to-ing and fro-ing, all the coming and going. I could certainly do with closing my eyes for a century, or even two..
If only someone could make me a tree.