THE TREE OF LIFE

cloud caught in tree

Another day in Mason.

Another day of life.

One day at a time.

And some days a particular piece of white paper.

Not just any paper.

Funeral notices.

Posted outside shops and offices surrounding the square.

And beyond.

Like little flags flapping white in the wind.

Those who pass by look closer.

Whether local or tourist, we pause to read the very white simple piece of paper clipped outside Benjie’s or Market Square.

And there it is.

Just a few words in bold black type.

Announcing a death.

The passing of a life.

One particular life.

Perhaps begun in Mason County.

Perhaps not.

But the person is recollected.

By name.

Age.

Date of death.

Where services will be held.

Where body will be buried.

After 90 years or 60 years, 20 years, or maybe 2 months, a particular life has come to a close.

Did anyone hear it?

The piece of paper clipped outside Underwood’s Antiques calls it out as it waves in the breeze.

Someone has lived.

Mother, father, sister, brother.

Husband, wife, lover.

Or child.

And now they’re gone.

It’s good to know.

Even if we didn’t know them.

Does every leaf know another on the towering oak?

Yet we watch as one fellow leaf turns color and falls to the ground.

Or is taken suddenly by storm, still green and vibrant.

Away they go.

Like leaves, we enjoyed the same cool breeze.

Thirsted together in the hot sun.

Quaked when lightning struck overhead.

Known or unknown.

Now they are gone.

The tree of life won’t be the same without them.

But a subtle shift will happen.

Slowly Nature closes the gap.

A new leaf buds.

And we go on living.

That’s Mason

 

Read more poetry!

Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster.  

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