This tale engulfs the 14th fire, drawing comparisons from the seasons and from life. I know the allegory might be a bit heavy-handed, but we are so similar to every form of life, everything that breathes and spins through space on an ever-giving planet. And we should all have that same want, desire: For our offspring to have a better, if not the same chance we had. Because, if we were all flames, we'd leave nothing behind.
The sky is bright most days, and the clouds further and fewer between.
The sun takes up most of expansive space above, followed by the bright light of the moon at night, some nights.
The breeze hurts my stems, creaks my roots, and tries to break my seeds free. I hang on. I am not ready, not ready to let them face a world of constant, violent change.
Three sundowns ago, we saw flames’ brightness burn the hillside across, the screams of our brethren carried up with their embered remains into an even darker moonless night.
The orange glow faded and the morning sun absorbed on blackened earth, the only sign that something once grew there.
The trees and bushes are no longer taunting, only quiet, fearing that a fire might end them as well.
Still, we hold all we are into our seeds.
The tall ones, the mighty grasses who choked out their neighbors with excess, with undue and undeserved growth, they are all dead now.
Lifeless husks, carrying no seeds, no life. Only their ever-drying kindle remain, more of a threat than any tree or bush could ever be.
The days are changing, the nights are warm, and the spring rains are a distant memory.
We all knew that we wouldn’t make it out of this alive. We all knew we would meet an end and meet it no matter how hard we tried to avoid. Only trees and bushes get to live long, and even their time is limited.
The truth, the one thing that matters, the only reason I’m here, is to make sure the next generation gets just as much of a chance, if not more-so than I did.
I want my seedlings lives to be hard enough to toughen, but soft enough to multiply. I try to find that balance, to provide whatever I can to achieve that for my seedlings.
The smell of burnt grass and tinder carries with the wind, the screams of both ill and well-prepared bounce off the solemn trees and ever-echoing rocks.
My seeds are heavy. They weigh me down. It took everything I had just to make sure they developed plenty and full. The wind tries, tries so hard to take them, but still I cling.
They might be ready, but I’m not.
I can be selfish, for just a little while longer, right?
I realize that I’m acting like the big ones did, the ones who are long dead with no one to carry on, to remember.
My seeds will remember me, but I have to let go. I have to let them be, let them be taken to other places and make other roots in other ground on other fields.
A big breeze comes and I know, I know that this is it.
I whisper my goodbyes and allow my precious seedlings to be carried off.
They are their own now. I have done my part, my wisdom, my skill, and my purpose. It will be up to them to continue that legacy, or try to go at it like a big one.
I hope they choose what is best for them.
I know most of them will.
The breeze picks up again and I weave freely back and forth in it, my seedlings no longer holding me down, their weight given to themselves. I am free, but I am done. No water will turn me bright green, no cool clouds to stop the sun from drying me out.
The end comes soon and me with it.
Still, this sun and this breeze, my ends, I live for these.