Saturday, 6 June 2020

Debut Fiction: 'Amidst the Falling Leaves' by Soren Berg

I like to sit on the porch and watch them.  The trees.  Especially on mornings like this one, as still as a held breath in the pre-dawn light.  The small clearing for my cabin is just a brief disruption in the endless ranks of trees, and their smooth red trunks branch out into long, lithe limbs that stretch up to the sky like a dancer frozen mid-leap.  Despite everything, they are beautiful.

I lean back in my chair, and run calloused fingers over the smooth, lacquered surface of the table beside me.  My hands remember the hard knob of the planer, and the square handle of the joiner’s mallet.  I think of the buzzing stroke of the saw and the feel of sawdust tickling my throat.  Many mornings I’ve sat here, readying myself for the tasks of the day, but today I have no taste for coffee, nor any particular sense of urgency.  Instead I take small sips of cool, fresh water from a wooden cup.  I sit for hours, watching the trees, thinking slow thoughts.

When they call to me it is so gentle.  They beckon patiently with their long graceful limbs, swaying in the late-morning breeze.  Inviting me to walk the pathways through the forest amidst shifting patterns of dappled sunlight, and consider my surroundings in a way I haven’t before.  To pause in a place and watch how the light falls and the water flows. To imagine the seasons winding past, and the slow changes of time in this particular spot, like nowhere else exists.  To stop in an endless moment.

I look down at my hand, where a delicate green stem is growing up out of the flesh of my palm.  Its bud is just starting to unfurl into a perfect tiny leaf, casting a translucent shadow on my creased and lined skin.

It is time.

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