As I walk back home on a brisk, autumn afternoon, I feel my feet veer off the path. I almost drop my books, the motion is so uplanned! But even as I question myself, I know exactly where I am headed. I begin to panic.

This is not a dream.

Suddenly, there are no people about. Not one soul who would hear my scream. There is nothing to anchor myself. Nothing to stop the senseless progress toward it.

As I crest the hill, I can see it. The red tree, there atop the hill. My paces lengthen and soon I am running; running, ever faster, toward the tree of my dreams.

I am thrown down on my knees before it, my books strewn about amongst the fallen leaves.

And then, I hear it speak to me.

The wind rustles the branches in my native tongue, relating to me the tree’s tale. I cry for every leaf that has dutifully served and now must fall. I sing out for the well-lived lives of them all.

And then, I lay under that tree, spread-eagle, and let Nature blanket me for the most restful sleep of my life.

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