I remember everything about my childhood, when I was just a sapling. “What a beautiful child she is” everyone said around me. My mother so big and beautiful, full of life and compassion. I wanted to be like her. I would do anything to please her. Everyone around me was kind too. They helped me grow up. Giving me their life force in some way. It was a happy childhood. But nothing lasts forever. Soon there was talk about a plague in the area. Many had fallen victim to it. Slowly dying and withering away. Soon some started drying. I distinctly remember, the strings around their body. As if slowly, it is suffocating it and killing them. My mother caught it. I was young but I knew I had limited time with her. It would be soon that even I would have ropes around me and killing me. Many of my friends were victims too. They died faster compared to the elders. Some of the lucky were safe but safe is only relative. They had to witness their mothers die. I wished to get the disease so that I could be with my mother. But my mother would never have allowed it if it was within her power. She told me “I will protect you with my life”. I think she really did. No matter how bad the disease was, she kept smiling and always helped me. She survived the longest during the plague. It was as if she was holding on to life with sheer will power and love. In the little time I had with her, she taught me everything she could. About life, other creatures, compassion and love. On her last day, the skies darkened and with her last breath, the rain fell. The sky cried with me. But soon it stopped and the sun was shining. I still feel that her soul was so pure, the Gods rejoiced for she returned to her rightful place among them.
Soon the places were filled by others. Every summer, we would give shade and food to the animals. Soon rain would fall, giving us the much needed water. Our arms would be moist and cool. Soon my arms would change colour and become bare and soon covered back in summer with different colours along with green. The circle would begin again,Circle of Life, as my elders told me. They taught me so many things after my mom passed away. How sometimes I will be hurt by others for their own purposes. They told me that my job was to give as we are creations of God and represent him. So just like him, we are supposed to help everyone in anyway we can. This whole world is his creation and everyone is helping everyone out in their own way. Sometimes word would spread that my relatives have burnt down due the orange flower caused by lightning. It was sad but everyone around me believed that they had been chosen to return back to the sea of souls. They would sing that night in their honour and praying for their safe passage.
Darker days were up ahead. Suddenly news started coming in that a nearby patch was completely cleared by some creatures. They had cut down my friends and had taken the place they occupied as their home. From their very corpses they built their homes. They would create the orange flower by burning their corpses. With years their area increased and my relatives, friends, elders, everyone I knew disappeared. Chopped down by those creatures. Some were still around but they would be secluded away in small portions. I was slowly surrounded with stones. My legs were restricted to a small portion. I would still help them. Give them shelter, shade and food whenever they desired. I would reach out to those small holes in the stones and give them fresh water and shade. I would see other relatives in the holes with cages around them. I would talk to them occasionally and give them water or shade. But soon my arms were cut off and I couldn’t give them anything. In the following years, I saw some of them in different clothes with things in their hand. They started tieing ropes around my body and prayed to me. I wondered what it was. They cut off my arms, restricted me in this small place and still pray to me for my blessings for their well being. Is this what even God faces? I was taught to be giving and that’s what i would do, pray for their well being.
Time passed by, I would give birds a home to live. I would give my arms so that they could rest. They always gave me company. But slowly lesser birds would come. Loneliness would come more often. I would expect the winds to carry my voice to the nearby trees and have conversations with them. But the winds were not dependable, they weren’t punctual at all. Sometimes they would take a break and sometimes everyone single one would work overtime. A bird comes by “Thank you Mam for giving my family a home and place to stay. I know it must have been hurtful for you to let me make a hole in you and live in it”. I ask the bird to sing me a lullaby so that I can sleep and wake up next to my Mother.