The Sycamore and the Vine

For a moment, time slowed, then stopped, then stood still; nothing moved and everything remained placid, frozen in a moment. Then a second went by, then two and then a minute passed, then three minutes. An hour replaced the minutes then in succession a fifth hour came and went. Like a carousel the hours spun and turned into days; days into weeks; weeks into months; months into seasons then seasons into a year-years. Years passed, developed from a moment. Time passed but the moment remained, still a moment.

“What are you doing up there sycamore tree?” asked an inquisitive newly sprouted vine which grew, in an almost perfect circle around the base of the tree.
“Waiting,” replied the sycamore tree.
“Waiting for what?” the vine wondered aloud.
“For it to finally end,” said the grayish looking sycamore.
“waiting for what to end?” responded the vine in a way that only a new sprouted vine could ask.
“This struggle that’s been going on for three hundred and thirteen years, six months and two days. I’ve watched every minute,” the tree replied in a solemn response that seemed to take an hour.

The vine did not understand and continued to ask its questions, “What struggle? Between who?”
“The day and the night,” the great sycamore responded. “I have watched as both have come and both have gone. The night brings with it an army of stars and a guiding disk, which cools my leaves and revives my senses. The day combats it with a shield of clouds and a ball of fire, which sends rays of warmth to my bark and energy to my branches.”

“Who’s winning?” asked the vine.
“Difficult to say who is winning for sure. The day and the night seem pugnacious towards one another. I have once seen the day cry for what seemed to be forever. The night must have tried to invade the day because the day had put up a sky full of shields. But the night must have pierced the shields. Then the day cried. As is true for the night. I remember when the day became angry, it had made it’s fireball twice its regular size and three times as fierce. When the ball of fire finally went dim, the night cried. For one week, exactly one hundred years ago, I saw the day and night cry together for an entire week. Perhaps they had both lost in what must have been a glorious battle. That week they both cried. I cried.”

“Why did you cry?” asked the vine.
“Because until now, the night and the day were all I knew and they both were sad, then I became sad and I cried,” responded the sycamore as one of its branches began to droop.

“How long will you watch the night and the day?” asked the vine which had now made its way closer to the middle of the sycamore for a better view of the night and the day.
“Forever,” said the sycamore who’s leaves had all fallen to the ground, except for patches on the furthest branches, which were now drooping.

“May I watch with you?” asked the vine as it had now reached the lowest of the great tree’s bare branches.
“You may”, said the sycamore.
“Thank you.”
“No, Thank you.”

“From the ground I couldn’t see the day or the night but now I can see both and I can now see why you cried when they cried”, exclaimed the vine.
“I am growing old and tired and some of my branches are beginning to fall but you may climb the ones that still hang from my musky bark,” the tree sincerely spoke.
“Thank you.”
“No, Thank you.”

“I could not see the ball of fire yesterday sycamore, perhaps the day has won and it no longer needs it to fight the night,” proclaimed the vine.
“No, I felt the ball of fire the day before today. I apologize, my branches droop ever more and obstruct your view,” sympathetically the tree mumbled.
“It is fine”, the vine said, “I will climb higher.”
“You see so well,” said the sycamore, “I envy that.”
“Are your branches drooping too far? Do they block your vision great sycamore?” the vine asked.

In a slight dodge of the question the sycamore replied, “I think the night is beginning to win. You will soon have an unobstructed view”.
“Thank you,” said the vine assuming more branches would fall.
“No, Thank you”
“Why do you keep thanking me sycamore?” asked the vine.
“For sharing this moment,” said the tree.
“What moment?”, curiously the vine asked.
“The moment when night claims victory,” said the tree.

Silence came for a moment. Then a minute went by, and still silence stood. Two minutes passed then four with silence on guard. An hour passed and silence remained.
Then silence was gone and the great sycamore lay flat on its side. The vine had curled back to the base of the great sycamore and stayed close to the roots. Then tears began to fall from the sky, it was the night. Tears continued to fall, it was the day. Tears fell for several weeks from both the day and the night. After some time, the day became angry and the ball of fire returned. The night also became angry and called back its army of stars. At the base of the Great Old Sycamore, the vine watched the day and the night.

The Sycamore and the Vine


Joined January 2008

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