A Final Wish

They are waiting:  in alleys, in gutters, on sidewalks.  They are stripped of baubles, of their ropes of stars, of their silver splendor.  All gaiety is left behind; the elegant magic of the 12 day holiday has been dispersed, like lingering schoolchildren.  Perhaps their forest color and fragrance lingers in the deserted living rooms; but for now, they wait.

Nothing lies ahead for them but landfills, wood chippers, mulches and composts:  the humiliation of decay.  Faded symbols of winter’s highlights, weeping a lamentation of needles, they create an abashed and patient woodland.

But at night, the moon, reclining as softly as an empress on her wine-colored throne, will take pity on the groves mourning beneath her.  Extending her white arms, she gathers the light of the constellations, of the planets that spin about her, of the stars that dazzle from her wrists and forehead – and sends it to the lonely trees.

And suddenly wizened branches glow with the tinsel of a finished holiday, with the icicles of a distant hinterland.  They live once again, basking in the radiance of a goddess’ compassion.  Like a smile that is tremulous with a memory that is about to be forgotten, the light is a delicate reminder, the granting of a final wish, before all nostalgia is spent.

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8 responses to “A Final Wish

  1. How gorgeous… Always a treat to hear your voice.

  2. This reminded me of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, “The Fir Tree.” When I first read the tale as a child, I cried and forever felt bad when I saw a discarded Christmas tree lying in the street, waiting for the city trash collectors to take it. Even as an adult, I couldn’t bring myself to simply discard the trees and would place them in the backyard as winter shelter for the animals outside. Once they were completely brown and dry, I felt less grief about chopping them up and placing them in the compost heap.

    Lovely story, Aubrey.

  3. Absolutely beautiful and superb!!!

  4. A patient woodland – lovely image. Knowing that our trees will become mulch for gardens, it comforts me to think of the moon sending her gathered light to bless the trees as they wait for the next transition in the circle of life. Beautiful words, Aubrey. So much magic in the winter moonlight.

  5. Beautiful rendition of an interesting point of view of the aftermath of a Festivity. Let’s hope the meaning behind it can tie us over to the next one.

  6. Though they would express it in words far less lovely – or perhaps not express it at all – I suspect some of the same feelings stir in the heart of those who help collect our trees for new uses. Offshore fish shelters, dune-building, mulching – they’re all part of the cycle of life, not to mention good reasons not to have a flocked tree!

  7. Beautiful words and what stunning images of these moon kissed trees. A pause to reflect on the festive aftermath of our trees and their on-going cycle.

  8. pretty much all of my neighbors put their trees on the curb on Jan 2, even though the city won’t be taking them till next week. i keep wanting to throw matches in them – to demonstrate the stupidity/danger and to amuse myself.

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