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A PhD professional with keen observation of everything happening around.



In a world of seven billion people, where every inch of land has been mapped, much of it developed, and too much of it destroyed, this old fig tree remains the final unseen, untouched, and undiscovered wilderness, my mind's last great fortune and frontier. There are no mobile phones down there, no e-mails, no tweeting, no twerking, no car keys to lose, no terrorist threats, no birthdays to forget, no penalties for late credit card payments, and no dog shit to step in before a job interview. All the stress, noise, and distractions of life are left at the surface after diving into its world. This old lone tree is the last tranquil place on Earth for me.

(due apologies to James Nestor)

Cold has performed its magic on me. The last few days of December have been no less than an ice water bath for my soul. I am on my toes, so are my writing neurons. I can't wait to write all the time.

Walking and visiting someplace help you with the physical warm-up, writing something; little more, good or bad, with the mental one. You feel energized. It's good to have the story bucket full of travels and travails, with musings and muses.

Since the writing bug has caught me again, I decided to move towards a warmer place: towards a place cut off from my phone, people, and partners. So morning today took a stroll once again to this old fig tree standing out there in our shabby garden.

'What made you come to this place so frequent? Is it the tree? Ask a friend over dinner.

'Tree came later. I came first. I could have never imagined coming away if it weren't for a heartbreak. Two years back, I had a horrible experience. I lost someone I ardently loved; BABA; Twenty years of my life into it, he fell out for all, and I was completely destroyed. Tired of their sympathy and concern, I decided to move someplace really far away. This place fitted the bill. I didn't know the language, the culture, the cuisine of the world residing under this old tree. I craved that anonymity.

'How did the tree find you?'

The tree didn't lure me in the first place, but a few weeks later, having found new friends; in a nightingale nest, I found three little chums constantly chirping inquisitory for those tiny droplets of food, an innocent dove duo, all those visiting birds, their flock drove heavens and their chirps made my ear deaf to all the otherworldly melodies, and in a honeycomb, I discovered a whole new kingdom, made me feel a new experience, a unique existence our eyes are blinded towards; I felt braver to try new things.

With a broken heart and soul, you fear everything is out there to get you. It takes a while to learn how to trust. The trust I talk about is not about a love interest but with this tree, my affair for a lifetime. Five months later, when I went to the garden, it wasn't a visit. It was the start of a new relationship, with the tree, yes, with the tree in the garden.


© 2021 Afandi

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