An Oak - Yves Berger

An Oak - Yves Berger

An Oak

I saw Miles today. Here in a field at midday. The air was clear and
washed by days of snow and rain. He stood out in the cold, fearless of
the nights to come. His ageless branches stretching out above the
green grass of autumn.

Light, he said, is being born everywhere. Look at my orange leaves
now: they may stay forever in your eyes.

"An oak", I whispered ... but the word itself seemed overcrowded with
old woodcutter's stories and not large enough to shelter even one of
those unique leaves.

At first I didn't notice it : a crow in his tangled hair. Then it made
itself more visible flying across the blue sky, and more so when it
turned black against a white cloud, and cawed. I smiled, and listened
again.

Roots remember all things, like a good drawing, he slowly said.

One by one, each caw found it's way towards the oak's dark trunk.
Miles dilated his veins so the caws could enter more easily, and
without losing their sharp tone of insurrection, they then travelled
inside him. Many times the crow's caws rose and fell within the oak's
golden sap, before reaching the silence of the frozen ground.

What if we turn the earth upside-down? I asked.

Same thing, he replied. All that has grown and all that has fallen
leaves a line and a shape somewhere, you just need to know where to
stand. See the smoke coming out of the chimneys of the village, see
how it meets the light....

Tomorrow I will show you how green in the snow my leaves still are.

I looked down at my feet. Prayed and carried on.

Yves Berger