Leaf by Gerry Donnellan


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SUMMARY: My first attempt at writing. Any feedback would help

I awake to find myself being carried along by an underground river. Pulled along like so many others, I feel the walls closing in, sense the immense weight of the tonnes of rock and earth above me weighing heavily on my shoulders. Bumped and jostled, swept ever onwards by the raging torrent. Suddenly a calmness takes hold on the water. I see the light return to this dark tunnel. The waters slow and spread out, disgorging its unwilling passengers as it meanders through a talk dark forest.

There is a light wind blowing through the forest. I rise from the banks and wander aimlessly through the gnarled oak trees. The woods are oppressing. The massive old oaks rising high above blocking out the sunlight. The smaller flowers strain to catch a glimpse of the precious light. How do the flowers manage to survive on the dim half-light. Beneath me the fallen leaves rustle with a glimmer of new life as the wind brushes gently passed them, but it is simply an illusion. Those wrinkled old souls who once were mighty, towering above all others, now lead a sad existence strewn on the forest floor. Forgotten and forsaken, they spend their days as refuse on the rubbish heap.

Now and again, I catch glimpses of the lives being lead by those in the trees. Squirrels can be seen storing up fruit and nuts for the harsh winter months ahead, birds settling into their carefully prepared nests. They work hard and relentlessly but in the end it does not matter. There is always a predator about who will lay waste to your carefully laid plans, a thief in the night who will steal your store, a blackbird who will take your nest for its own.

I think back to the leaves which mourn the passing of the spring and summer months. Those months always seem so short and the dark months of winter so very long. They cling to their branches for support but in the end all must fall. Even the might oaks will one day be felled, their trunks shattered, their leaves scattered on the winds. And so I drift on, taking pity on those that I pass who have yet to awaken from their slumber.

I find myself at the edge of a cliff, clinging grimly to a nearby rock. Below the waves pound against the cliff base, beating out a sombre melody. I gaze across the sea towards the horizon stretching endlessly away into eternity. The sea is so calm, so peaceful, so welcoming. I wonder what it would be like to float for ever on that eternal expanse, to become a part of something so timeless and indestructible.

I fall.

Tumbling through the air I remember times past. My life has been a constant repetition, every day a struggle to survive, to keep my head above water but now I submit. I give myself over to the deep embrace of the sea. As I lie on my back in the soothing waters I stare upwards at the sky which has been for so long the umbrella on my world. I bask in the glow of the now revealed sun. The tidal waters sweep me further and further away from the shore until I become indistinguishable from the sea itself.

I can finally sleep now in peace. No longer do the worries of the world encroach on my mind. I have awakened to see the world as it truly is and now I take my rest amidst the seas great depths.