By Caela Collins
Like Trunks We stand tall and Like their stumps, sometimes we fall short.
In moments of despair, we bow our heads deep down into our shoulder blades and weep Like Willows.
Like blowing leaves, We shiver in the frigid wind when it grazes our epidermis.
We stretch to the morning sun Like broken seeds.
Like roots, We constantly thirst for more.
And Like bark, our palms hold lines.
Sometimes we forget how much trees are like humans.
We don’t stop to listen to their jokes or join in on the laughter & applause from the rustling leaves. We don’t pay attention to the polite waves from their swaying branches in our windows. We look at them every day but don’t truly see them for who they are. How lonely it must be for the trees.
It’s easy to look at something and not really think about it. I‘m ashamed of the ignorance I once burrowed in. It’s funny because I used to think humans were the arrogant ones, but here I am with two feet planted on the ground not feeling a connection to this sacred earth. Our root chakra, which is hidden at the base of our spine represents security and safety for a reason; much like the trees, what is anything without solid roots to ground them?
I would tell you a colorful lie to correlate with two truths that so easily dance through the words that echo from my tongue. I would happily jump in line for that silent human-filing-system-like game where we order ourselves by birthdate holding numbered fingers high as flashing signals for the room to know where I stand, literally. I would love to take this time to focus on breaking through these layers of ice between us but to expedite this game, I’ll just be blunt: I used to be a tree.
I guess transformation has its wonder & awe, but I think it’s really just a pillar of obsession. The world is obsessive over major switch-ups. That’s why no matter how full of lactose outfit montages in films seem, they still make our bellies bubble with excitement. If you ask me, I think it’s cheesy. We love a good dramatic change because of its wow factor, but really it’s our inability to find solace in what and who we are in the moment as opposed to who & what we CAN be with “glorious” transformation. We discuss manifestation as glittery daydreams that appear in the real-world realm like hatted bunny rabbits but no one discusses the intentional work and hard self-reflection process.
I know, I know, you don’t want to hear me rant about my distaste for the beautification of change, you came here for the real tea, how a tree, such as myself, transformed into a human girl. Well, I’m not glamorous like Ariel, who’s a majestic creature that traded up the wonders of the ocean for long walks on the beach with royal eye candy.
To Be Continued…
This piece is part of Breakthrough’s program By & For; An initiative to amplify the lived experiences of creative girls and gender non-conforming youth of color in authentic, nuanced, and respectful ways, and provide them with platforms to share their own creative work, on their own terms. Breakthrough is dedicated to compensating all contributors for their artistry. Support By & For here.