Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Story: The Tree of Life

As much as I love trees and delight in their sight and proximity, I've always felt that the few stumpy ficus trees garnishing, or should I say, trying to garnish the sidewalks that lead to the "Sanayeh" public park, were a little prosaic and uninspiring. Their thick, stocky trunks, stout branches, and vapid, dark green, plastic-like foliage gave me no visual enthrallment to speak of.

Yet something unusual happened which I only recently came to understand.

As I walked on that gloomy april day past a few of those relatively unattractive leaf bags, I almost mechanically slowed down, and stood, cold, in front of one. I looked at it for over five minutes, not really knowing what about it was so undefinably attractive. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't slender. It had no particularly defining features nor a particularly suiting background. In other words, it was as non-picturesque as any of the other ones flanking that particularly dull stretch of asphalt parallel to hamra street.

But I had my camera, and I was on a mission. I needed to take as many pictures as one hour of meandering on a gloomy and overcast april day would let me.

And I did. I half-heartedly took the one picture, and then moved along somewhat perplexed, and utterly unsatisfied.

I never gave it another thought until I looked at it again, a couple of weeks later. It then struck me like a thunderbolt. How could I not have seen it earlier? I guess I did. I just didn't know it.

And there it was, the tree of life, standing in all its glory, an almost exact replica of the very one that springs out of our hearts and gives us the gift of day.

And it wasn't just the large and small arteries it so astonishingly embodied. It was also the veins and the lymphatics, the thick and delicate peripheral nerves, it was our very own trunks, narrow limbs and slender fingers. It was everything, even our mother soil, our family roots, and our genealogy. And it wasn't just this tree, but every lonely tree in this lonely amazing world of ours.

Now, after a long period of indifference, those unassuming unattractive ficus trees have become dearer to me than all the others.

And now I know that no matter how complex, unstable, metamorphosing, capricious, weak, sad, fragile, moody, greedy, jealous, selfish, and human I may seem, look at me hard and you will see that I'm nothing really, that you're nothing really, but a walking tree.


Blogger laila said...

wow, it's truly amazing..and that was my first thought too before I read your text..beautiful post

10:12 PM  
Blogger Mia said...

I love this post and I could see what you were talking about. It's resemblance to the heart's plumbing is fitting. After all trees purify the air for us, they provide us with so much.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Mirvat said...

very nice post

11:47 PM  
Blogger Delirious said...

You have to be in the medical profession to see it this way :)

Uff... reminded me of my biology teacher in school: once we were dissecting a heart in the lab, and he suddenly decided to make me recite the pathway of blood de A à Z, démonstration à l'appui.
Damn, I loved that teacher! :D
Akh, the way he said "tricuspid valve" and "pulmonary arteries" made you love him... i mean, made you love biology! ;)

4:46 AM  
Blogger Ramzi said...

For every tree there is another tree that grows below.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

It looks like there are open mouths in the trunk.

2:26 PM  
Blogger hashem said...

wow, did you do a cath already? wayno Dr. Nasrallah!

7:11 PM  
Blogger FZ said...


7:35 PM  
Blogger rouba said...

it's amazing how u notice things!

btw, shedding leaves yet? (sorry couldn't resist)

12:27 AM  
Blogger Fouad said...

ma fhemet :s

6:38 PM  
Blogger Rania said...

So strikingly true.

You write beautifully... I've been on this page reading post after post, and it keeps you thirsty for more.

Thank you.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Thank you Rania. Good to see you here. Hope you come back often.

6:41 PM  

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