She first saw the tree when she climbed to the top of the Mount. She put down her satchel and caressed his skin; she pressed her cheek against his body and felt his strength. He sighed.
“Why were you born a tree while I was born a girl?” she asked him, gazing up to where his fingers touched the sky.
She visited the tree every day. In the summer months, the tree’s hair was green. She would strip off all her clothes and press her hot body against the tree’s cool flanks. In the autumn the tree’s hair turned reddy brown. She spent more and more time with the tree and spent less time in her home.
“You and I are just the same,” she’d say.
One evening, just as Autumn was becoming Winter, she ran away from home and went to see the tree.
“I wish I could stay here with you for ever,” she said.
She saw that much of the tree’s hair had fallen to the ground and lost its color. She felt so much tenderness that she wanted to scoop it up. She sat down, her back against him. The sun went down. When she thought about home, she knew that she would never go back. She would have to make her way up to the city. It would mean leaving the tree behind.
“Don’t you wonder what it would be like to be able to move around?” she asked him, wishing she could know what it was like to be so still.
That night, she told the tree all of the stories of her life. How she had never had anyone just be there for her before, or see her as she really was. She moved as close to his body as she could. She closed her eyes. She sensed the tree digging deep into the earth and growing into the air. She felt herself being drawn along with the Winter’s night inside the tree, melting out of her girl form and becoming part of him, held under his skin, an injection of love, mixing with his juices and flowing around his veins, pumped around all night by his mighty tree heart.
In the morning, the word ‘Goodbye’ fell from her lips as softly as the drops of dew that fell from her clothes.