The Humble Musings of a Japanese Maple Tree - the siege

Being a tree is not easy. It looks like we lead simple lives because we can't, you know, move voluntarily, but that's really where the challenge comes in. Getting what we need is not a simple matter of getting out of the soil and finding it. So how do we motionless, thoughtless, aimless plants do any kind of surviving in such a harsh and unknowable world? And what is it that we do with our time?

Well, I, being only a humble Japanese maple tree, can only speak for myself. At first glance, it does indeed appear that I do nothing all day. I grow from the stable soil behind a large, hollow, rock-like structure which houses odd, colorful inhabitants that enjoy making loud noises and sometimes yanking out my leaves (which is no small annoyance, I assure you). I share the soil and its nutrients with rose bushes and giant wild rye; they are good, compassionate neighbors and we silently appreciate one another as very distant kin. The sky opens above me directly and its sun feeds me eagerly in the daytime. The soil is watered consistently and sometimes it rains, as the sky is wont to do every now and again, and the drops splash and slide down my pointy red leaves, making them dip under the weight. It is a good life, one in which I don't have to worry quite so much about acquiring sufficient nutrients to survive the seasons as plants in other places do. What I need is given to me in the land, and the land is well taken care of, so I flourish through the cycle of seasons, the colors of my leaves browning and reddening beautifully as the weather dictates.

Given the apparent luxury of my life, I do not have to expend quite so much energy searching for survival, so I spend most of my time watching. I like to think of myself as a passive observer of the life and times around me. There is just so much going on in the world, do you know? Even in just my little corner of existence, life is always happening, though I suppose such things are more easily seen by one as stationary as I (and my brethren, if they were so inclined to do what I do). In a time before, when I was younger than I am now, but not by much, there was always laughter in the air. Those strange creatures living in the hollow rock before me would zip around loudly, excitedly. Sometimes they would kick around in the grass (poor little children, being trampled so, they had my sympathy); sometimes they would spray water over me and all the neighboring plants, a little too much, and my roots would almost feel like they were drowning (they didn't do it much, thank goodness). Now, this space behind the rock structure feels - quiet. Maybe a little lonely. The grass has grown and is now a much more substantial fraction of my height (though not by that much) and they are rarely trampled anymore. Sometimes, a couple of those creatures, a calmer variety, look over the soil and plant new seeds. They're growing something of a vegetable and fruit garden. More neighbors to share the land with; they're friendly, so I don't mind much.

Life is peaceful here in my home. As a proud Japanese maple, I stand tall and firm, watching over the plants and happenings around me. I suppose, in the end, I don't do much after all, but this is the life I was given. It's a simple life and, after all, I think I rather like it.


notes: just a little assignment for my mcb/psych class. we were intro'd to the idea of plant consciousness. it's an interesting idea, i'll admit. the tree in question is an actual tree growing in my backyard, i'm quite fond of it. :) anyway, just a little something to show i haven't given up on writing just yet, i'm still just trying to figure out my style and my ideas. enjoy!


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