Home The Tree and the Hour Glass grand pa’s story.

The Tree and the Hour Glass grand pa’s story.



‘It’s amazing what one notices when
one finds out their time for noticing is
coming to an end. Like you have spent
your entire life walking around with
your eyes shaded by a translucent
curtain, and then one day they are
reopened like a shot of adrenaline
straight to the heart. I wonder if we
ever truly see things, even as a child.

Like a new born seeing its mother’s
breast for the first time. No, I don’t
think we ever really care to see
anything for what it truly is until our
eyes are awakened by the foresight of
never seeing any thing again. I think a
man born without sight sees more with
one simple touch of the hand then we
do our entire lives. Sure we see things
every day, some beautiful, some
horrible. Yes I suppose we see a lot,
but do you ever stop to realize what
you’re seeing? To let it sink in to our
over developed alien brains? I think
not. We are to busy rushing to our
early graves to stop and “listen” to
what we are actually seeing.

Oh, you
must think ol’ gramps is off his rocker,
or I’m hitting the glaucoma medicine to
hard. But it’s none of that. Words are
just hard to choreograph together
when you get to be my age. By the time
the words in my mind reach their
destination at the end of this pen, it’s
too late to realize that half of them got
on the wrong train. Hell, when you get
to be my age most words can’t even
find the train station.

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones
though. Still got my wits about me, and
most of my hair, and my eye sight is
still fair. Ah yes, my eye sight. That’s
what this babbling old fool was talking
about before I got off track. Lucky
because unlike most, I’ve been given
the gift of “true” sight again; sure it
comes with a cost, a cost we all must
pay in the end. But knowing my time is
near; my payment comes with a gift.

Like I said, my time here is short and
I’ve got all my affairs in order. Having
no children of my own, and my wife
long dead from the same disease that
is taking me, I have sold this old
Victorian style house (that I’ve called
home for my entire life) to a nice young
couple fromNairobi. All my finances I
have signed over to a charity that helps
fund the reforestation of rain forest. I
hope to redeem myself for this action;
maybe old St. Peter will save me a seat.

I suppose I should get to the point of
my story before my time is up. The old
Maple tree in the back yard that my
father planted, some hundred odd
years ago, twenty years before I came
screaming in to this world. The Maple is
long past its prime (just as I am) and
the nice young couple wants me to get
it cut down before they move, in fear of
it landing on the house, from a big
wind. I wonder which..

After all the papers were signed and
the lawyers paid, I came home to rest
on my old wooden rocking chair out
back. To try and enjoy one of the last
beautiful days in September,

This is
when I noticed this tree for the first
time. Well sure you are probably saying
I’ve must have noticed that tree before,
living here my entire life. Yes it’s true,
obviously I knew of this tree but I
always took that old symbol of my
country’s freedom for granted, but on
this beautiful September afternoon I
truly saw it for the first time.

That day I melted into my rocking
chair, overwhelmingly mesmerized by
its true beauty and magnificence. The
hours past as I “listened” with my eyes
to its ancient tails: The tree engulfed my
every thought and filled my mind with
endless questions and endless words
with ever ending answers. I wondered
why these things had never occurred
to me before; sitting here in the back of
my house like I’ve done thousands of
times before. I realized that my eyes
were truly open. It was like every thing
had its own special glow, its own
beautiful life force. I swear (like an
innocent man swears on the bible) that
for a split second all the mysteries of
the Universe were split wide open just
for me! Then I blinked and they were
gone faster than they came.

I sat in my rocker (like I’m sitting in
now) staring up at this depressing,
deformed demon trying to free it’s self
from Hades, reaching up trying to
grasp the heavens with its gnarled
knuckles, attached to countless
deformed fingers. Forever grasping for
the unattainable, yet never giving up its
inner fortitude. I pondered if this
monstrous gift to creativity felt pain,
like when it lost one of its limbs in a
wind storm. Or the time when I was a
child and it got struck by an oblique
bolt of electricity from the same
heavens that it tumultuously grasps for.
I wondered if the tree had a memory
of its own. If it remembered me and
my rope swing that I use to oscillate
from as a child, if it remembered the
birds that returned every spring from
their winter migration to nest in its
friendly arms. Did it get lonely when
they left? Standing alone like a naked
soldier at attention, did it want to go
with them, to free its self from its
permanent hell? I felt sad for such a
thing, to have to die every fall, only to
erupt back to life in the spring; each
new blossom like a million middle
fingers saying “up yours!” to old man
winter. I remembered hearing one time
that trees are the souls of the damned,
destined to live their lives trapped in
the earth. I found this couldn’t be

I wept the day the tree came to my
door. I remember seeing the maple in
all its ancient glory for the last time. I
was reminded of the way a father looks
on his daughter’s wedding day. The
way he tries to hide the look of
contempt in his eyes. Mostly though it
reminded me of the few short
moments right after he gives his little
girl away, but before he takes his seat;
those are sad moments often missed
by the unintuitive. It seemed to me
drastically arbitrary for such an ancient
stubborn creature to come crashing
down to the very same earth it had
been trying to free its self from for
more than ten decades. Over a
hundred years to climb and less than
an hour to fall.
So that’s my tale as I’ve seen it and I
couldn’t have finished at a better time.

The last few drops of sand are falling in
my hour glass. Making me to weak to
write and barely finish a thought. So
now I ask you, the one with all that
sand still left in the top half of your
hour glass. Have you ever seen a tree?

© Aisha Salim

courtesy of Storyzetu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter

Click Subscribe to get our latest news and stories straight to your email


Subscribe to our newsletter