The Oak Tree and The Ivy
Once upon a time there was a love story between a simple man and an ordinary woman. Little matters how they got to know each other, maybe it was at one of the same social events that they were both attending. It was love at first sight, he used to say that he fell in love with her inner light, but in her humility she didn’t even know that she had it. She loved his spirit and wisdom and everything about him. He was like no other, and the love shining in his eyes was incredible.
Happy days they have lived together, yet they knew that he will need to leave one day for a while, for a final battle. He was determined to make peace with his past, to solve his problems, so that no bad memories could ever again threaten their happiness. But nevertheless, they were happy and they were one heart, so problems didn’t seem to matter.
They have spent time reading and dreaming and sharing the beauty of life in a way that nobody ever did. And for a spell they were completely lost in their universe of absolute love.
One day as they went on the beach he built for her a wonderful sand castle and he decided to close it under a glass cover so that she could have it always close to her in her house until he was back. It’s not an ordinary castle, it was their castle.
“Wait for me , hide your soul inside the castle, and in no time I’ll be back to you my Love”.
The day before he left she took him in the woods. A beautiful light was shining there and there were flowers everywhere as the spring was bursting with joy and color. Walking on paths known only by her they found a quiet place and stood under an old oak tree. And she took a picture of him as he was smiling leaning against that tree. As he saw the tree he said:
“It’s a most extraordinary tree, but I can’t understand why.”
And she told him that it was so because the tree was not alone, but loved and surrounded by the most beautiful green ivy. “The tree has many scars, yet he is covered by the ivy that gives him his strength. They are one, and this is love, they never let go of each other”.
He smiled. Yes, NEVER LET GO. Of course it made sense. And as he got inside the train that took him away from her he fell asleep smiling thinking of her love and the beautiful tree and the ivy…
Days have passed and day by day he forgot her more. The eyes you don’t get to see you forget, they say. She was writing him every day but he hardly found any time to answer her. His problems were solved, his life was secure , everything was all right yet no matter how much she loved him, he failed to hear her anymore.
And his absolute love crumbled like a handful of sand flowing between his fingers. He had a stable life yet his soul was empty and he was not happy , never happy as he used to be by her side. But maybe he was scared that he could not make her happy or maybe he forgot all the happy days. Sometimes in his dream he used to see her smile and hear her calling his name, he felt her kiss on his lips and her forehead leaning against his. And he kept telling himself again and again:“I need a bit more time, but one day, soon, I will go see her, and I will make things right and one day we’ll be happy.” And today became tomorrow , and that became one day soon, and then this became someday, and the day never came and his heart left her more and more.
She felt him far away and it pained her just as the blood draining from one’s heart must hurt. And she felt cursed and abandoned yet she was true to her love. “NEVER LET GO”. And she thought to herself that maybe something horrible happened to him and so he can’t make it back to her yet. And she waited, and wrote him how she missed him and how much she loved him. Yet no more answers…
Not many years have passed and the news of her death arrived to his ears. It was only in that moment that he remembered her eyes and smile. A veil was suddenly lifted from his eyes and he realized that even though he took her love for granted she was now no longer there. And he saw the piles of letters in a corner of his library, abandoned, forgotten and never answered…
He got scared and felt sick and desperate. As he felt the pain creep in his heart he decided to attend the funeral so he went to at least see her a last time.
In her house, that now was unchanged, he saw on the wall the picture she took of him. “Never let go” he remembered, as his heart crashed in pain… And he realized that he got so lost in his own idiocy and crazy life that he let go the only soul that ever truly loved him. Willing to see her again he entered the room where the wake was being held. God, he hated wakes, but he wanted to see her, touch her, maybe it wasn’t true… maybe he still had a chance…
As he entered there he saw a simple closed coffin, a red rose fading on it and on a side table, under a glass cover, a crumbled sand castle…
“Oh how I love you… “ he mumbled, his tears flowing as rivers all over his face… “My Love, how could I have been such an idiot as to leave you?”
His knees couldn’t sustain his weight anymore and he was helped by few people to have a sit next to the coffin. As he touched the cold surface he leaned his forehead on it just as she used to lean her forehead on his years ago and he screamed:
“Oh my God, please, please make a miracle, please take me instead. My Love, please forgive me for what I’ve done, please forgive me, I would do anything to turn time back, I would do anything to make you happy…Anything, anything… Please forgive me”…
As he cried so badly he felt a ghostly light hand touching his shivering shoulder. The room turned around him and all turned black. Then, feeling his heartbeat in the temples and ears…
…. he finally opened his eyes and saw her loving eyes crying in front of him…
At first he could not believe what happened and he looked around. They were again in that wonderful forest where they have been years before. He was leaning against the oak tree and a wonderful light was shining over them.
“Love, how come you are here, where are we?” he mumbled.
“The day you left you’ve had the most horrible stroke my Love , and you’ve been caught in a nightmare for many years. And when I saw you dying I was in such a pain that I asked God to have mercy on me and take me also. I think I died of a heart attack. But I know that God smiled and decided I deserve to be here with you, so He turned back the time…”
Suddenly his heart exploded with joy and as he held her in his arms and kissed her he whispered:
“We really have a second chance Love?”
“Yes my Love. Just remember, NEVER LET GO.”
Photos of the forest: memyselfandela, 2013