jexia: (Me me)
[personal profile] jexia
On an island in a lake, there stands a tree. Its roots stretch down to drink the sweet waters in which the silver fish play; its branches dance against the sky, revelling in the flow of the wind, back and forth.

Each morning, the wind blows from the east, fragrant with spices, and bearing pollen to fatten the blossom buds. The afternoon wind blows from the west, bitter and alkaline, carrying ashes and salt, but pollen, too.

The fruit on the east side of the tree grows sweet and juicy, its thick, silver rind enclosing soft, pulpy flesh. Children row out in their little rowboats, and gather the fruit, stuffing as much into their mouths as they can. There is always one child, young and on their first visit, or hopelessly optimistic, who ventures to the west.

The fruit on the west side of the tree is dusky, its rind thickened against the bitter wind. The pollen from the west tells a different story to the tree's blossoms as they swell, and the flesh within is dry and seedy. Children who try it gasp about the sourness, with their mouths puckered dry, and scamper back to the east, to sweetness and goodness.

Come autumn, the remaining fruit fall from the tree, scattering into the lake, and the tree prepares for the winter ahead.

Winter passes with its usual bluster, but one afternoon brings a terrible storm. The westerly wind, bitter and cold, lashes the tree, battering it with fury. The tree resists, but from the west comes a terrible rending sound.

Spring comes. The morning wind brings perfume and pollen. The afternoon wind brings only salt and ashes.

As spring stretches into summer, the fruit on the east side of the tree fattens into delicious weightiness. The west side of the tree is empty of fruit, covered only with soft, silver leaves. The children come, with greedy mouths and empty bags, to gather the fruit. They are pleased that there are no sour fruits, and strip the tree bare.

Autumn comes again. There are no fruit left to fall, to scatter into the lake. The silver fish cannot feed, to get strong for the winter ahead. Many die. Their darting dances no longer sweeten the lake, and the water begins to stagnate.

The tree has no choice but to drink of the water. The sourness seeps through its sap. The silver leaves wither, and spring brings no blossoms to scent the air.

There will be no fruit this year.
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June 2016

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