ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tell Me What Love Is

Updated on February 28, 2011

"Tell me where I am to go now. Tell me where I am to find my answers. Tell me where I am to live now. In the life that I wanted or the life I had. Tell me did I take the right path or did I detour simply because I did not have the strength to see through the fog. Tell me!" the woman asked.

"There is no pre-set destiny. There is no pre-set fate. There is only the honesty and the self-motivation to reach beyond to find themselves in the swirls of mists that time has lost." the tree answered.

These thoughts rocketed through the mind of the woman standing in that sun-laced, shadowed place. She stared at the old oak, draped across the ground, the wide trunk twisted with the roots upon itself, and the Spanish Moss waving in an ever-constant green-gold breeze. It stood in silent majesty, a ghost of time past of nobility. The woman faced the tree with two closed fists and ask again.

"Tell me."

The tree remained silent!

Both horses shuffled and nosed each other, the mare, the leader, and the gelding just a pace behind. Hidden in amber shadows, the dog yawned and grinned her happy smile, while the cat, the calico, played with a cricket in the sparse grass between the roots of the tree. The offering of fresh ground cinnamon, bay leaves and on lend, the bit of mandrake from Scotland. An offering of enticement to the old marsh live oak. This one she called the "Rain Tree". Growing strong and wild in the realms of the mind. In a green-gold marsh of memory.

"Tell me. I implore you. Tell me." the woman ask once again.

The tree once again remained silent!

Yet, the green-gold breeze blew a wide oak leaf and it settled in her now upraised palm and she studied the lines in its texture and saw, perhaps, a map. A map that could lead to a reality or could lead once again to the safety of banished dreams that had re-awakened to life.

At the leaf's base, at the stem, remained a small drop of rain. It was from clear water falling, and it was the place of the leaf's birth. Where did anything start but at the beginning. Now, the beginning was Shadow Island.

How many times had she come to this place with her friends? How many times had she ridden in here, either one horse or the other, looking for wisdom from the often silent tree. She was afraid the tree's spirit had fled upon the roaring winds of too long ago. This is where she wanted to live, this where she wanted to stay until she knew all the answers but the tree was slow to give them to her. She sensed that it did want to give them to her all at once. There were so many answers to find and so many questions to ask.

The sun dropped lower in a gilded haze, rising blindingly over the brackish water of the marsh. The green-gold wind turned to evening marsh wind and blew cold as summer turned to autumn and the brown edges bit into the sharp lime grass blades and into the paler sea-green. Time seemed to have no bearing in here, with seasons changing with the blink of an eye or the dispelling of a dream.

The mare moved forward, her spirit in her eyes. A warm brush of breath on the woman's forearm and the solidity of truth returned. In a drift, time-shift, things could get misplaced or removed but only focus kept it in straight perspective.

Still, the tree remained silent.

A winter sun rose the next time the woman came to visit the tree. This time she came alone but the two horses and the dog were waiting for her on Shadow Island. The dog moved forward, her coat a pale gold in the weak sunlight. Her apple-shaped head with brow furrowed and her eyes filled with welcome. She nuzzled the woman's hand and love effused from her. It cloaked the woman's uncertainty.

The cat was absent but then, she still lived on another plane.

The woman turned to the ancient marsh live oak, her "Rain Tree", and said.

"Tell me what is love?"

She glanced down at her leaf map and noticed that the leaf had begun to turn at the edges, fading its deep green. She looked at the base of the stem and saw once again how the one main vein went from beginning point to ending tip and all the others were but dead-end splits from it. How many dead-end roads were there in life? Or was it really dead-end or perhaps a path that had to be traveled all the way to the conclusion and then a return to the main road and a new path begun? Or should one walk straight forward, looking not with peripheral vision, but as with blinders...seeing nothing but what lay directly ahead?

She ask the tree again. "What is love?"

The tree answered nothing.

When the woman came again, the sky was stormy. The hot summer rain fell hard upon the blades of grass in Shadow Island. Grass growing in profusion among the now dimly lit patterns of sunlight, masked by a brooding thunderhead. The marsh wind blew moist and humid with the summer rain. The Rain Tree dripped puddles of water in the basins of its trunk. She came alone again and was greeted again by the dog and the two horses who lived within Shadow Island always. The gelding came forth to greet her, his sorrel coat like red jasper in the faded light. His deep brown eyes were full of puzzlement and his muzzle warm and seeking. She comforted him.

"Tell me why does love leave?" she ask of the old oak.

The tree said nothing but sent her another leaf, but only two thirds there with the tip torn away. She looked upon it and the sorrow filled her heart.

The next time the woman came, it was spring; bright and green, flush with life. This time she came with the cat. The little calico walking at her side, with her tail curled in a question mark. The two horses and the dog greeted the cat as family and surrounded the woman as all four. A stroke for each one, a term of endearment, lingering on the red mare, and the four gave her comfort and strength.

She turned to the tree and ask once again.

"Tell me what love is?"

And the tree replied.

"Love lives anyway it can."

She looked around at her friends and saw love. She knew what love was.

The next time the woman came, she brought with her a photograph book and opened each page on glossy paper. She turned to the tree and said.

"Look, old friend, this is what life I have had. Was it better than the life I wanted?"

Silhouetted in the glow of a rising autumn sun, the tree answered with the green-gold wind in its branches singing.

"If you are satisfied, then it was the right choice. Now, do you know what love is? Tell me."
 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      scarletisis 

      7 years ago

      Wonderful!!!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 

      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Wonderful work.I just love it because i cant just resist the pictuers used in this piece of work.

    • essiheart profile image

      essiheart 

      7 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I love this piece of writing! Great job.

    • profile image

      Daydreamer Too 

      7 years ago

      Excellent imagery in this. I wonder if any of us truly lives the life we wish we did? We're such strange creatures, because even when we think we have it all, that feeling soon passes and something else we then wish we could have? I don't know. I know I still have some hopes and wishes yet to be realised.

      Wonderful writing :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)