Saturday, 27 October 2012

Rough day? Try being a tree.

Trees have it bad. Really bad. The poor things stand there day after day watching the world go by without being able to do a single thing.  Except ocassionally shed a leaf. Nobody really cares about trees either, not until they're gone.
There are many different kinds of trees and every single one is unique. Most of us don't realise this; we just walk under one thinking 'hm, a tree', but they really are. Every twist of each brach and vein in each leaf is particular to that tree at that time depending on it's type, genes and environment. I was thinking about this the other day while walking home in the dark. I was looking up to feel the rain on my face (which I would highly recommend by the way as it's very refreshing) and I noticed the light of a streetlamp shining through the leaves growing around it to create a green leaf-textured sky effect. It was pretty cool, and when little droplets of water fell, in the light they looked like drops of gold - until they hit my face and just felt cold and wet, bringing me back into reality. 
The canopy of leaves above was preventing the full amount of rainfall from drenching me, but equally, it was not keeping me dry and the previously friendly canopy loomed over with an unnatural electric glow, stinging my eyes and blinding me from the once beautiful detail of each leaf. As I looked away I thought about how that even though the horrid streetlamp had ruined my view of it, the tree itself had not changed - it remained green, beautiful and magical. But I had resented it for that moment, simply because it seemed unfriendly due to something else - the streetlamp.
The next day I returned to the same tree but this time viewed it in natural light. It's an ash tree, which is the one with lots of small, pale green leaves gathered around one stem. Overall a very average tree; one which I certainly wouldn't have picked as particularly special compared to the ones around it. But still the night before, this had been the tree that had caught my eye, because of the light shinging through it's branches - the same light that I came to dislike later on. This very plain tree had become special due to something which I disliked: the streetlamp. So, was it the tree or the streetlamp that was special and caught my eye? Or the combination of the two? Would I have even noticed the tree if the streetlamp hadn't been there?
You might be a bit lost at this point. What I'm trying to get at is that the tree was simply trying to get by and grow and all that and I came along and judged it - for something that wasn't its fault. 
Compare this to people: along we go in our lives, minding our own business (most of the time) and someone comes along, takes one look and immediately categorises you. Usually that wouldn't happen unless you did something that made you stand out: having a panic attack, for example. So it comes back round to me, you think. Well of course it does, this blog is sort of about me you know. Anyway, there I am in the middle of a busy street of busy shoppers completely frozen with fear. I most likely looked like I had seen a ghost, obviously distressed and hyperventilating. What happened? Funny looks and I ran home. Overall a horrific experience. What caused the panic attack remains a mystery to me, as it does with every single one I have. If that hadn't happened I probably would have walked home and not a single person would have glanced my way. So I am only noteworthy based on something that reflects me in a negative light. 
I walk by that tree everyday. I never ever notice it - apart from that one time (well two if you count the next day). It obviously holds no special place in my mind or any significance in my life. But say it was chopped down and it was suddenly gone. I would probably feel a bit sad that it had disappeared and remember the encounter we once had. I wouldn't really care about it unless it was no longer there. This is true with people too. Though it may be a sad truth, its one I think is worth saying. If I ended my life now, I would most definitely be noticed for not being there. People would talk about what a sad story I was and what a shame it was. But right now, while I'm still here, I'm 'OK' in other peoples eyes. I'm getting on with stuff and managing. But what do they know? Nobody knows. Nobody notices. Not until a streetlamp is shining through me anyway.

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