|Wollaton Park, Nottingham, England|
PHOTO: Duncan Harris
Somebody is coming at last.
It has been a long time. Who is it? Is it a man or a woman? Young or old? It is still too far to see it clearly. The trees have been hungry for people. They have been alone for a long time, because of the incessant rain. How long has it been? A week? Ten days? A month? They aren’t sure. Time passes without touching the trees.
They stand there without consciousness.
A week ago or two, a girl carrying a blue umbrella with a dog came in through the gate. The sodden dog with the water dripping from its long fur trudged after her, with its head down. When she’d walked to almost the center, she slipped and fell into a puddle, splashing muddy water into the moisture-heavy air. She shrieked. The dog whined. They soon left the park.
Two days ago or three, the rain stopped for a while. The sun shyly peeked from the grey clouds. A mother with a baby on a pushchair came in and went to a bench by the gate. She jumped up as soon as she sat there. The bench must’ve been still wet. She wiped the bottom of her skirt and left.
The rain started again soon after that.
It has been good for the trees and underbrush.
The birch tree leaves shine with the water. They have been growing so much. The pass from a clearing to a clearing has been almost disappeared, covered with the long boisterous leaves. But nobody has come. The leaves are curled with sorrow. Their barks have splintered with misery. The dead leaves on the ground are rotting with loneliness.
The person who is coming now is whistling with his/her hands in the trousers pockets. S/he kicks a pebble on the ground along with some dead leaves. S/he must be relaxed with no worries. It is good. The leaves on the trees shiver with anticipation. A person is coming, a person is coming. The information has spread rapidly from a tree to a tree through the leaves.
If you would like to read more of this article in Empirical, the February issue is now available at your local bookstore and online at our website.