As darkness closes and predators prowl nearby,
The Neanderthal seeks shelter underneath a tree,
Ripping off one of its limbs and starting a hearty fire.
Warmth, light and safety, provided by the ancient giants of the forest.

In the dead of the winter, the pioneer wakes up the sleeping giants with his axe,
Taking logs to build his cabin, which will protect his family through the freezing cold.
The hearty fire now burns in his home all night long,
Smoke rising up to meet the sky, intertwining with the leaves that still breathe.

Years later, a grower walks amidst his orchard,
Admiring the fresh fruits, hanging down from the outstretched limbs of the young trees.
Carefully planted and nurtured,
Appreciated by the many families they will feed.

Somewhere hundreds of kilometres away from the young,
A bulldozer mows down hundreds of uniformly standing trees.
From their safe abode where they housed animals and shaded lower plants,
The majestic beings are turned into paper and furniture,
The only reminder of their existence are the bills pocketed by the world’s richest.
From space, a tiny green dot goes gray.

But not all hope is lost.
A researcher walks down the aisles of his greenhouse,
Glass glinting in the sun’s rays,
Protecting hundreds of endangered seedlings, safely residing within the artificial haven.
Many others follow in these footsteps,
Working tirelessly in their labs and fields to save the trees that have supported mankind since the beginning.

In a quiet suburban area, a child enjoys swinging on a tire hanging from the tree that has been in her backyard since her grandpa’s time.
Years of picnics, climbing to new heights through the interwoven branches and hide and seek revolve around this family tree.
Even when no friends or parents were around to play with, the tree was there, sturdy and still like always.

It’s a peaceful afternoon and an old man walks along a narrow trail, gently grazing the barks and branches that line it.
Finally, there is a clearing leading to a large oak tree,
The man squints in the sunlight and smiles at the sight of his old friend.

About the Author

Devanshi Shukla is a recent graduate of Western University where she did her B.Sc. in Integrated Science, specializing in biology. She has always loved being around trees and plants, deriving the inspiration for creative and academic works from nature.

Posted by Shweta Dixit