Dreamer's Dark Tree

October 1998

How majestic the old tree looked tonight. Its barren branches reaching to the skies as if in worship to some unseen being. The youthful looking woman sat on her back porch looking at the tree as if she had never seen one before.

She seemed fascinated by the deep colours of its blackness against the dark rich blues of the night sky. The top seemed almost lost in the deepest of the hues. She could see the branches moving to and fro in the soft gentle movement of the breeze. To her it almost seemed as though the tree was dancing to the sounds of the chirping crickets and frogs that filled the night air...

It was always like that this time of the year. Soon winter would overtake the night. The silence that it brought with it would not matter; for no one would be there to enjoy it anyway. She shivered slightly to think of it. The life cycles of so many of the sounds she now heard would soon be ending, in favor of what ever happened in the next life. The end of summer seemed sad in some ways to her.

Dreamer looked high into the sky to seek out any stars that might have been peeking out from behind the gathering clouds. She didn't see any tonight. The great giant puffs of air had stolen them from her view. It didn't steal from the splendor of the evening though. Dreamer let go a long sigh of her weariness. She breathed in the fragrant scent of the moist leaves that were already beginning to fall from the trees.

She thought about the tree and wondered why this one never seemed to show all the rich wonderful colors that the other trees did just before the fall of their leaves. With a sudden brisk breath of the wind whirlpools of leaves came fluttering to the ground. She just sat there caught up in thoughts of the days events and felt mesmerized by the nights sites and sounds. So very peaceful she thought.

Dreamer closed her eyes to it and began remembering another place another time she had sat and enjoyed the same feelings..............

A teenage girl sat in a tree which grew into the hill side, Some of its exposed roots seemed to be stairs to this place where she sat. As usual it was late and she was alone.

She listened to the sounds of the creek flowing past her. She wondered if somewhere upstream there was a boy sitting and doing the same thing. Her soulmate.. The future man of her dreams.. She always knew that somewhere, was a boy for her . One that would love only her. One she could share her hopes and her dreams and her secrets with.

But for now she knew he was far away from her... Maybe on the other side of the world. She knew that in time, when it was the right time, she would meet him. When they met, they would know they were to be together. But for now she just imagined what it would be like. The first time she was really in love.

She looked up to the moon and wondered how many other people in the world were looking at it too at that very minute. She wondered if he too was looking and wondering the same thing. And where he was right now.

"Hey Dreamer!" The shrill voice of a boy three years her younger, yelled breaking the peaceful silence.

Dreamer cursed silently under her breath. She liked her brother okay, but he was such a pest. He didn't like to leave her out of his sight for very long. Dreamer quickly jumped down from her perch and ran down along the creek.. It was pitch black but it didn't really matter she could easily run this creek with her eyes closed. She had even tried it once. Dreamer knew she was up and out of sight as she climbed into the metal tunnel that went under the street... It was for the water to flow through after a good hard rain but it was dry now..

It was a great place to hide from him. For some reason he never seemed to look for her there.

"Dreamer I know you are out here somewhere, just come on out. Its dark out here" he called out after her.
"Just go away and leave me alone" she called back in his direction.

The culvert always gave an eerie edge to her voice; kind of an echo which seemed to come from all over. She thought it was funny he couldn't figure it out. To her it seems so apparently obvious where she was. She loved to play tricks on him... Playful tricks, as she would never hurt her little brother... How could she?... after all he thought she was the greatest.

"Fine! be like that, I am going up to camp and telling mom you aren't at the Per like you are supposed to be."

Dreamer didn't even acknowledge him that one.. Why bother.. She knew he wouldn't do it and if he did she really wasn't in the wrong as the Pavilion was still in view of where she was. She could see it very clearly.

She didn't really care. It wasn't time to go up yet. She knew as long as she was up by curfew it really didn't matter to her parents too much either. Here was the one place she was free. Able to be alone and not fear.

Dreamer was different than most kids her age. She seemed to like things that other kids didn't. Being by herself was one of them. Quiet safe thinking time. Here was where she tried to figure things out. Dreamer's favorite question was "why". Why was this person this way? Why the birds never sang at night. What would happen if the sun decided not to ever come up again? What if she really ever seen an alien spaceship? Most kids thought her quite strange. But she just seen things in a different way.. She looked for the good and the beauty in things. Dreamer wasn't willing to just except things and take them for granted.. She truly liked to enjoy life around her..

It didn't bother her so much that she was different than the others. What bothered her is that they were so mean about it. Kids she met here were never like that. They always seemed to like her and wanted to be around her. But she liked to escape, to just ponder life. That too bothered the others her going off in the dark alone. But she wasn't afraid. The nature seemed to somehow talk to her. She felt things that others didn't, and this was what set her apart form the others. This was distressing to her. Her emotions were always too close to the surface. This seemed to be something the other kids loved to point out. They never realized it was her compassion for thier pains she was feeling. She often wondered how people so sad could be so mean...

The creek was her favorite place in the world. Here she as safe.. The feelings didn't overwhelm her as they did in school or in social events. Here she could only feel peace and familiarity of herself, and the trees. The trees seemed to whisper to her; stroking her softly with thier soothing lullaby of rustlings, relaxing her. Often she would bring her guitar with her to the creek.. She would play and sing with only nature as her audience. Sometimes even the birds seemed to stop and listen when she would sing her little melodies...

Dreamer smiled thinking about the times she would catch the other kids listening. She'd see them hiding behind the trees pretending they weren't there listening.. She longed to be like the other kids, but she liked being who she was. She truly did enjoy being different..

Hours in the woods slipped by her sometimes like minutes. She never napped there but sometimes she would seem to be there and it was one time and the next time she looked it would be several hours later. Dreamer couldn't ever account for it but she never mentioned it to anyone as she thought they would find her strange and tell her she was making it up.

There was only one other time that she could remember that it happened when someone else was around. It was with one of her brothers crushes named Leanne. They had been out walking in the woods and when they left it was 1pm and what seemed like only a few minutes was 4 hours later. Enough time had lapsed that they both got a good scolding for not checking in. For that was the rule you had to check in every couple hours. She recalled how Leanne was so freaked out by the missing time. They had both tried to reason why it took them so long to walk the area they had walked. But never figured it out.. That amount of ground could have been covered even at a slow pace in an hour. It had taken them 4. It remained to Dreamer one of the only times someone had been with her when it occurred. But it also let her know she was not crazy. Time was different in the woods. Everything was different here. That was why she liked it.

Dreamer sat there in the culvert for a while just thinking of these sorts of things. Letting her mind roam freely. Only thing apart from nature was the occasional car that went over her head, with a hollow 'vrooom.'

Knowing her brother was long gone she crept out of her hiding and went back to the tree she had been sitting in originally. She had put her foot on the first rooted stair when a loud whistle split the silence of the night.

This was the unmistakable whistle of her father. He could whistle better than anyone she ever known... and so loud. It echoed for a mile in the valley. Every one knew who's whistle it was and if by some slim chance it escaped her ears some other of the group would recognize it and let her know he had whistled for her to come up to camp. She guessed it was better than being yelled after by name anyway. And none of the other kids made fun of her for it. Actually most thought it was cool he could whistle like that too..

But the whistle was the end of her night. The young Dreamer made her way up the steep dark path to the camp.

Dreamer stood from the porch were she had been sitting and looked for her dogs in blackness of the yard. To dark to see the ebony colored dog in the night. Dreamer lifted her fingers to her lips and gave a loud short whistle. Both dogs came bounding to her. Dreamer smiled to herself. She knew no matter how much things had changed since the teen years some things were still the same.


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