The tree is tall, dark, deep. The branches sprint upward, higher and higher, spreading like fingers, like rivers: covering the sky in a gothic fanned vaulting.
The blackness that shows between the leaves seems to go on forever. Like tar it covers, like glass it distorts, like a book it dares the imagination. A hundred small forests nestle within the noble tangle of white branches. I felt that if I reached into those depths I would discover…anything!
I think about this tree often. It's visually lovely and unusual – true – but it also reminds me of something. It reminds me of a dream I had, long ago. One of the first dreams I ever remember having, but I never forgot it. Because it was perfect.
I was looking up into a sparkling canopy of leaves. I saw the sun blinking through the branches. Then, somehow, I was borne upwards; and when my flight was done, my senses of observation had changed. I saw things, details, that were frankly quite marvelous. The light I thought I saw did not come from a distant brilliant star, but from brilliant gems, all of them within my grasp: citrine diamonds, dark jade, clear emeralds. Delicately nestled within the leaves they sent out white star-like beams, forming a galaxy that hung all around me.
The rustling I perceived while on the ground wasn't caused by a breeze, but by beautiful sprites and fairies. They were clothed in rich, earthy colors – sometimes melting into the background and sometimes emerging from it like so many Cheshire cats.
I never saw their faces; only a gleam of an eye or a glimpse of a smile - a wink, a dimple – but I had the clearest impression of the branches stirring as the little creatures moved to get a closer look at me.
This dream – thankfully – reoccurred in different forms two or three more times. Once, I was climbing a snow-covered mountain past flowers growing through a frozen chrystelline blanket, bearing hues not imagined yet; again, I was walking through a field, peering through the high, soft grass – and animals watched me as I passed.
At the time I was too young to see a lesson in these gifts my subconscious had decided to give me. They were just lovely adventures. But now, I know exactly what they were trying to tell me. This was a lesson in perception and imagination: the closer you look at something, the more wonderful it is very likely to be.