I walk until I see an evergreen that speaks to me, and say, "But your branches are too high! I wish there was one I could reach!"
My attention goes to the left and, drawn, I walk towards 'it'. A second later, a bird alights on a fallen log next to the spot I am walking towards. I look, and see for the first time that he is perched right next to a fir bough!
Filled with gratitude and the wonder of it, I sing to the bird. I know him to be my father, and I sing him a song in Hindi, "Papa kehte hain...". Papa says. Smiling at the truth in the words, "Magar yeh toh koi na jaane, ki meri manzil hai kahaan...". Not one (human) knows where I'm headed, but I trust. I trust and I take the next step.
Complete, I stop and look at the bird. Someonesomething calls my attention and I look away and a moment later when I turn back, the bird has flown away.
I request a tree with red berries for a branch and two.
I want white flowers too, and my feet are pulled left. I'm tired by now, I have to go back, dress the house, mull the wine, bake cookies. I sight a shrub several feet away and tell myself I'll turn once I get there. I want white flowers, but I won't be attached, I tell myself. Right before I reach the shrub is a low bush, with little white flowers.
Lillie tells me. I remember how women (and other genders) in India tie cotton threads and cloths around the trunks and branches of trees. We've done this. My ancestresses and ancestors know the secret that connects us with trees. Trees carry our prayers into the deep trunk where memory slips like the sound of water heard from far. Noiseless. Trees carry our prayers into the skies where clouds shaped like tears, like hearts grained in trees, like the very tops of trees signal arrival from distant lands.