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The Blackberry Tree

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By: Wassef Moukalled  



Page 13 Profile News USA Edition Oct-09 بروفايل نيوز
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The Blackberry Tree

In front of our house, there was an amazing blackberry tree. It was not like other ones, but the biggest in size, the most generous and the richest in culture.
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It was as if she hogged the beauty of all trees in our neighborhood. In her chest she held a tree house , it was hard to see it unless you get close to her, she protected it like a mother protecting her infant from the burning sun.
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She was a generous and unique mother. Under her branches, which resembled a lending hand, the neighbors got together as she offered them a cleansing wind on a plate of her leaves, she listened to their stories without tiring or becoming bored and covered them with her shadow without favoring one over the other.
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The tree house was not less giving then the tree, on its bed, friends communed to enjoy each other’s company and that made the tree house very happy, to return the favor he ordered his walls to make the guests stay an memorable one, one wall was to provide a page for them to write their poetry, and one was to hide their emotions and one was to sore the names of all guests passed and last wall held a window keeping an eye on our house. He learned his generosity from the tree which she used to move her shadow from side to side as the guests moved their seats according to her shadow as of she was the compass of the neighborhood.
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From this side under the tree  you could see the mountain of Reehan as if he is kissing outer space, and from there you see the waves of the Mediterranean as of it is washing the feet of South Lebanon and from this side you see the sunset pretending to be drowning in the sea. While we are moving around you see the Mosque and the Church with their Crescent and Cross looking in each others eyes as if they were in love. Our tree was trying to show us the secret and beauty of life in one day.
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She wore a green dress during spring and summer. Every time fall came and undressed her against her will, the loyal winter came and dressed with a white coat so the envious eyes will not see her naked.
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She was loyal to us; we were not loyal to her. As soon as our wings became strong enough to fly to the States we did, the tree cried and the tree house started weeping and screaming “Where are my childhood friends, where are my children where are my eyes? Then listened and heard nothing except his echo and some weeping leaves grazing each other. The tree house continued to grieve for a few days until he was so exhausted and he fell on the ground where his two by four ribs flew in every direction.
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As for the childless tree, she blamed the house and held him responsible for letting my brothers and I leave and started thinking about Revenge. She sent her roots under the foundation of the house and started damaging them brick by brick, our friend and neighbor started screaming “ what are you doing, this is the house of my brothers my friends, their memories still live here and their soles still floating in these rooms, don’t you know that they are coming back? Yes, they are coming back, and he began to chop it down.The tree regretted what she did and as her voice shook with frailty “Both of us got revenge for the same reason”. She closed her eyes, flocked her last wing and flew to the sky to meet a star and nothing remained but her scent and memories.

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