The wind had whispered for a long time that this day would arrive, though I will admit that I refused to believe that it could happen. It was not that I did not want to believe, but doubt had wound its way through my branches and roots and I could not let the truth drop; not even when it was clearly ripe and ready to. As a result, this morning was a terrible shock.
The day began as any other day had. I stood alone watching the sun rise slowly over the edge of the meadow. Long arms of light stretched and reached over the sleeping blanket of columbine and white marguerite blooms. The doves still nestled together in the crook of one of my branches stirred with the light’s passing. They spoke quietly as they did every morning. Their soft cooing my companion while I breakfasted on dew. The pond was still at my feet. I heard the reeds moving in the early morning breezes, and waited for the sparrows and red-wing blackbirds to wake up and join the conversation. To my surprise, the butterflies spoke first. They spread their iridescent wings in that early morning winds, lifting themselves up out of the leaves and grasses to share the night’s story; the song that had been sung while I slept.
“Did you hear what happened?” one asked as it flew past. I almost missed what he said because the spring breeze flipped him upside down and it took a thunderous push of the butterfly’s wing to fly upright again.
“Hear what?” I said. Despite the warmth from the sun, I shivered. The rustling startled the doves. Another butterfly arrived, flitting around in front of me.
“She’s left the pond.” It said bluntly; that was the only way butterflies knew how to speak.
“Who’s left the pond?” I asked alarmed. I looked down through the maze of bark and leaves, trying to get a clear view of the pond below. Before the butterfly could reply I knew. I saw that she was gone. My heart was suddenly heavy.
“Oh.” I said. It was all that I could manage. The lotus that had lived in the pond had gone. I did not know where. I called after the butterflies.
“Where did she go?” I asked, suddenly afraid for her. She was so fragile sitting there. She would talk to me during the day, telling me of her life there in the pond. I was a good listener, she told me once. I was.
“The moon came.” A voice said. I shivered again, sending the doves flying out of the branches to find a quieter place to rest. I realized that a white falcon had joined me. He sat on the high branch with his face to the east, watching.
“The moon?” I asked. Again, I could not contain my surprise. The lotus had cried many tears over the moon. She waited for him to climb down from the silver chair he sat in each night, to sit with her while the stars danced lazily over their heads. Her love for the moon was as wide as the sky, she told me many times, but she could never be with the moon. He could not, for whatever reason, join her, nor could she join him. But today, I find out, the moon came.
“Tell me how this happened.” I asked the falcon. He tilted his head down slightly and stared through me. I waited patiently to hear. Somewhere out across the meadow, I heard the wind whispering again.
“You know the story – the Lotus’ story at least. “ he said. I nodded, barely. The Moon and the Lotus were lovers from the beginning. They met by accident, when the moon had not slipped into slumber and the sun had risen enough that they both shared the sky together. The first time the moon saw the lotus, he fell in love with her. He called to the lotus, asking to know her name. The lotus, shy but sweet, spoke with the moon that first day, and every day following. She loved him too from that first moment. Sadly, they could not be together. The moon had to stay in the sky, the lotus in her pond in order to survive. The day after they met, I met Lotus for the first time. She needed a friend, someone to talk to while she waited for the night to arrive again and bring her closer to her dearest love. I sighed.
“Yes, I know this.” I said. Their story was so bittersweet. It always made me sad to hear. What could I or anyone do for them, except listen? They lived in different worlds, so far from each other. They loved each other deeply, and yet could never be together. It was beyond sad.
“They believed in the impossible.” the falcon said, cutting through my thoughts. He spread his wings out and flapped them in the wind as he stretched before sitting down on the branch again. I waited impatiently for him to explain.
“What do you mean?” I asked. The wild grasses danced and bent to the will of the breeze. Even on the pond, the water rippled. I saw for the first time that not even her leaves were left to bow to the wind as it passed.
“I mean, they never gave up hope that they would be together. Last night was the night.” said the falcon.
“How can that be?” I asked. I shook, stunned. Leaves flew everywhere. The sudden motion made the falcon stand up and grip my branch harder.
“Steady” he said.
“But, we spoke yesterday, Lotus and I.” I exclaimed. “She told me nothing of this.” I asked. I felt stupid for saying it out loud. She did not need to tell me. I was her friend. I loved her as the meadow did, the sky did. Love her enough to let her go.
“It was not planned, if you are asking that. The moon was given a gift from the universe. He was given permission to climb down from the sky, to meet her here, at your feet last night. Just for one night, he knelt, bathed in silver light, beside her and asked her to come with him.” He said. I could feel that the sun had risen higher and higher to mark the day as it continued on. In spite of myself, I spread my leaves, drinking the light in. I thought about Lotus. She was the bloom that rose up in spite of everything, through the mud and debris. She deserved that pure love. The chance to be with the moon. The moon loved her, and with the one thing that kept him from her gone… he chose to come for her. Her greatest wish was granted last night while I slept. She was happy and with her true love. The shock of her leaving suddenly dissolved.
I listened to the meadow and the pond that was once her home. The sparrows sang among the wildflowers, the doves cooed in the shade of the cat tail reeds and my long branches. The butterflies danced in the distance, along the horizon where the sun would set soon enough. The falcon spoke once more, echoing my thoughts.
“All is how it is meant to be, dear Tree. She has moved to her new home, but I am certain that she will not forget you friend. “ he said, spreading his wings to catch the next breeze. I watched him rise high into the blue and disappear into the small white clotted clouds. The day continued on. I stood, digging my roots into the deep earth and reaching my branches high into the sky to follow the falcon’s words. All was how it is meant to be, I thought to myself. Just how it is meant to be.