He looked up as the rain washed away the tears he could no longer feel. His body ached with pain. Begging him to stop his ascent. Cringing every step he took.
A moment of doubt flashed before with a glorious allure. Inviting him to curl up and feel the warm embrace of the freezing rain. Slowly he could feel the last warmth he had in his toes disapate. As if the motivation that got him this far was seizing. Escaping him.
As he digs for just another sliver of hope his feet give out. Sending him tumbling down the steep mountain side, every hit slowly taking a piece of him with it. The rain giving the mountain the power to extinguish his final breath.
Yet the man felt no pain. He couldn’t feel his legs being thrashed against the rocks. Couldn’t tell the difference between the blood spewing from his mouth and the rain invading his lungs. As is if giving in to death itself, the man felt relieved. The doubt in his mind, gone with rocks that now tumble down the mountain along side him.
It had only been a few a seconds of falling, yet it felt as if his life was there and gone. An entire existence of peace entered his soul for a brief second. But now it was gone. Only the pain of his body and the blood that covered him, was left.
He lay there, once again staring at the sky. Feeling every drop of rain pound into his body like shards of glass falling into every inch of his being. The decision was easy for the man at this point. His mind at ease knowing how easy it was. How easy it was going to be to give in. He was excited to finally let the creeping darkness that haunted him, take him to a different existence.
As he lay on the mountain side, hours from death, his heart began to take over what the mind had colluded. No longer beating for survival, but beating for a chance to save its existanse.
A wave a euphoria was washing over him now. A heat inside slowly warming him. Slowly wrapping him in a warm blanket. He tried to explain this new feeling but was to exhausted to put a single thought toghether. But This didn’t feel like death. It was to peaceful. Even his brain agreed, thinking death doesn’t feel like this.
Over and over again, waves of warmth hit him, like waves on a beach. Crashing into him and slowly reseeding. The man enjoyed this new warmth and was forgetting where he was. Losing himself in this unexplained state of consciousness.
He awoke to find a tree. A hundred foot tall; it towered over him like the moon in the sky. Beautiful flowers blossoming and dying in perfect harmony. For a second he sat there in awe of the grand spectacle in front of him, not thinking where he was or how he got there. Instead feeling the warmth of the tree.
The warmth, he thought, was the same warmth on the mountian side. Then like the waves before, he had remembered the ordeal. The falling down the slippery slope, the pain of the rain that fell on him, and the warmth he felt before waking up here.
Then again, where was he? His mind started racing. Was he dead? This didn’t feel like death. Sadness overwhelming him at the thought of his death. Fear creeping into his soul with every reaction to his own mind.
As the thoughts of his demise crept over him, the beautiful tree that once was breath taking, started turning grey. The flowers no longer blooming, only wilting and falling to the ground. The sky that once was clear, now rumbled and churned. The tree was dying. The mans thoughts turned from worry, to sadness in a instance. Guilt now rushing threw his veins, bringing along the cold that once wrapped him on the mountian side. His knees grew week and he found himself in a ball, crying hysterically. This was he knew at the moment. Before he was lost in his endless sorrow, footsteps approached him.
The tears that once flowed like a leaky faucet suddenly disapated. And the warmth returned. A certain calmness wrapping him in certianty.
As he stood up, wiping the tears from his face, he was greeted with a smile. A smile that seemingly brought the great tree back to life. The man seemed to glide effortlessly towards him. And his body surrounded by a faint glow. It was god he thought. The man chuckled as he sat in front of him right under the tree.
“You can call me that if you’d like” he said in a soothing voice. “But I am not the god you think of”
Confused, he simply stared at the mysterious figure. Unable to put together a single word. Before he could even try to open his mouth the figure spoke once more.
“The tree. It is beautiful is in not? What do you see?”
Suddenly his mind cleared and was able to process a response “yes it is. I’ve never seen anything like it. Where am I?” He blurted out anxiously.
“Before I answer that question you must first answer mine. This tree. What do you see?” He said with a calmness that could sooth a crying baby.
“Um, I don’t know a magical tree?”
“Haha I guess you could call it that. But there is no magic in this tree. Just love. Again, what do you see?”
Frustrated, the man snapped at the figure “look man I don’t know what’s going on, I just want answers. Who cares what I see?!”
” this anger inside you has clouded your judgement” the figure said calmly “for like I said, you will get your answer once I get mine.”
The man, now engulfed in anger, looked at the tree once more. Trying to find the answer the figure was looking for. He looked at it with precise detail, analyzing every branch and every flower that grew and the ones that dieand fall. It was all in harmony he thought.
“I see harmony. The tree dying and living all the same time.” Hoping this answer would suffice.
The figure grinned. “Very good. But you still can’t see. You are blinded by your mind, instead of seeing from your heart. ” With that figure stood up and walked next to the man, looking at it with the man.
Before the man could ask the figure for his answer; anger and worry still coursing threw his veins, the tree started turning grey again. No longer alive, only dieing. As the clouds started roaring up once more, the man turned to the figure who still smiled with perfect ease.
“Let go” the figure said. “Be free of your anger. Accept this unknown plain of existence. Give love from your heart and save this tree.”
The man was confused yet felt like he had no other option.
“Close your eyes and look at the tree” the figure interrupted.
“How can I see if my eyes are closed.” The man asked under his breath.
“Let go and you will see.” He repeated.
The man closed his eyes; mostly out of spite, like a child being chastised. As he stand ther, eyes shut, the figure began speaking. This time without cryptic questions. But with more intent.
“Look not from the eyes of your body, look from within. Inside your soul. Look from here.”
The man, now at ease from the figures soothe voice did so as instructed. He felt the warmth wash over him once more and was suddenly seeing the tree. But he wasn’t seeing it. He was feeling the tree. He could feel the heart beat if the tree. The pure energy that flowed from branch to leaf. He opened his eyes to find the find the tree blooming once more. It was alive. It was him. He didn’t know why or how but he knew the tree was him.
“The tree. I see… Myself. It is alive and dead at the same time. Like a contious circle. But above all I see, myself.” The man said with a sudden calmness.
The figure was now sitting under the tree once more. Looking delighted in the mans response, invited the man to come sit next to him.
“There is an old proverb, I’m sure you’ve heard, but it goes like this. In side every one there is two wolves. One wolf is love, happiness, acceptance and understanding. The other wolf is anger, hatred, sorrow and every other negative thought. The tree that stands before you is the wolf. This tree is you, yes, but it is also not yours solely. Every person you’ve ever met, known about or even existed is in this tree. Yet all have the power to change it.” With that the figure waved his hand and the beautiful image turned to what looked like a war zone. The real image of the existanse of the tree almost broke the mans heart.
“What is this’?!” The man said while still trying to comprehend the the wolf story. “Is this what this what the tree has become? Did I do this?” He said saddened.
Almost without even acknowledging what the man had said, the figure began once more.
“This is the tree of life. When you first arrived here you saw what negative thoughts can do to it. With love it grew. With hate it died. Threw countless ions the tree has changed and grown countless times, yet I am afraid soon, it will no longer no longer bloom. This why you are here.” He said turning his worrying some face into the bright smile From before .
“But why me? I have nothing to give to help. I am a simple man who couldn’t even climb a mountain.”
The figure laughed “do you not see? You changed the tree from before.