Thursday, October 18, 2012

the folding and unfolding of a finally released secret





Every evening the tree folded its branches into itself. Every morning it unfurled like an umbrella. It was the tree that we would use as base in our games of tag, hide and seek; the tree that we climbed and picnicked under. It was the only tree we knew that folded and unfolded itself together, keeping a curfew all its own.

As a child, I thought that every town had a tree that opened and closed, because that must be the way of trees, and it was only years later that this ignorance was corrected. Then I wondered why no outsiders had ever come to marvel at our tree, and then I began to doubt my own memory. Folding and unfolding trees were a natural impossibility; surely it was some other type of plant, or a trick of light, or some other prosaic cause of what we called our origami tree.