The Tree

There is a beautiful tree outside my gate. It is strangely human – it sleeps. As dusk approaches all its leaves droop and hang limp and drowsy. People here, call it the ‘sleepy face’ tree.

After a long day at work I feel a special kinship with it. I’m frankly enchanted by it. By its wide spreading branches which reach out umbrella–like to provide an oasis of dappled shade. By the way its leaves are darkly outlined against the sky when I look up. Its furry pink flowers and even the dry leaves which crackle under my feet as I go up the cement walk before our house, please me.

I could find no fault with my tree until I saw what it was doing to my jasmine bush. The flowers of this particular plant are my favourite. They emanate a lush fragrance from their heavily petalled blooms.

The shrub always seems to flower with great reluctance – just one or two flowers a day, during the summer months.

This year the tree has grown mightily. Spreading its branches and embracing the ground beneath in cool shadow.

But now, the jasmine has stopped flowering. All my ministrations will not persuade it to throw out a single bloom.

So many great and overwhelming personalities are like my tree. They grow tall and powerful. Providing shelter for the multitude. But they invariably destroy the sensitive, quiet soul from whom they cut off the sunlight.