My memory tree is often barren in a certain light.
It stands under an overhanging rock wall that casts a long dark shadow.
Yet when the sun shines onto its boughs, it is loaded with enough fruit to fill a cart full of stories.
I cannot control the light that warms the tree, nor alter the weathered rock face that shelters it, for I am not a God of nature.
I am but a foolish, hedonistic child who has neglected to nurture and nourish my tree.
It has been by turns overfed and over-watered. Allowed to burn unsheltered in scorching summer heat waves and left to freeze,
alone, on snow covered dark white nights.
When the sun shines at the right angle, or a reflector is used to beam light onto the tree, then one or two pieces of fruit may appear.
Gorge, eat and enjoy them quickly, before they disappear.
Memories have grown, lived gloriously and then withered back to seed on those tangled branches.
Occasionally those seeds can flourish anew, if water, air, light or fire can but touch the limbs of the tree.
Then for just a brief moment, my memory leaves are once again set free, to float on the breeze for me to see.
Words & photograph: Chelone Wolf