Trees in the dark-part 5.

The white thing is standing before her. Behind her, the gate to the park lies silently, invitingly. But not yet. The white thing is worth absorbing. Is it glowing? The three-pronged building is illuminant white-gray. Even at night, specially at night, it gives out an eerie glow as if beckoning, with its tall thick walls and dark windows. It looks like a giant spaceship that’s been backlit by landing lights and energy waves of the universe. Even from some 100 meters away, it looks like it’s the engine that’s sailing earth through space. Ming admires giant things, they remind her of how small she herself is. And the fact that even though she is an ant for the anthill, she can contemplate the anthill, while the anthill can not. Ming imagines how this particular anthill was built and where are the builders now.

Taking the white building into her mind’s inventory, she turns away. Though inside her mind, she is inside the building, just for a moment longer, to enjoy the cold and the quiet inside. Nothing moves inside that building, and yet it moves within her, or her within it. It’s not complicated. Simple things are what come naturally, when fear does not visit.

Time to get into the place that holds that space in her heart. The park’s gate has swing doors with vertical metal bars, the doors are three meters tall, and embedded into their concrete frames. There are three such frames, the middle big one, and the two side small ones. The left side door is never locked, and always just a few inches ajar. Ming thinks that that door is being held open by some kind and gentle spirit who says “welcome, visitor, any time.” So Ming composes herself and pays her respect by feeling the swing door open with the tips of her fingers of her left hand, then quietly and respectfully slips inside.

Grassy areas sandwich the entrance way she’s now on. Dozens paces bring her to the little hill with the pergola at the top, along with a paved area for visitors to have a birds-eye-view of the whole park. But since it’s at night, Ming does not feel like navigating the winding stone steps leading to the top. She’s getting a bit anxious now, that thing is beckoning her: the target of tonight’s adventure is closer at hand. She walks around the little hill, peaceful and quiet, with darkness on either side. One side of the hill, the other of hedges and trees.

She’s not here for any tree though, she’s here for her tree. She does not know how she chose it, only that it’s in a good hidden open area, the tree itself has a lowered horizontally-extending branch that can support and hide a tree hugger. It’s irresistible the first time Ming circled around it. And the urge to climb became reality precisely because it’s no easy task. Especially at night, Ming can not see what position she’s in once she gets a hold and trys to hoist herself up, she has to feel the gravity in order to adjust herself, and gravity has a tendency to abruptly pull one down from tree branches if one’s not careful and proceed slowly. Ming has the chance to enjoy how clumsy herself is and the resulting suspense. She smiles to herself and the tree she’s bothering that’s bearing her weight as she struggles.

She likes the sweet taste of danger and physical exertion. It’s not something people talk about but she knows everyone craves adventure and the unknown. But better sense must be something that’s more valuable because she’s the only person that’s climbing a tree inside a vacant park in the dead of the night. (Is it really dead? Ming thinks. Mmmmm, dead…. and so alive). She’s grateful though, for she would not have ventured out if she knows there’s someone else here. She wants her adventure and her solitude. But most of all, she wants the tree all for herself.

Is there anything special of the tree? Perhaps. As mentioned, it’s in a good location, it’s of a good size with the main trunk that Ming can not wrap her arms around. The canopy is wide and healthy. The branch Ming now sits on is as thick as her waist. The branch ends with more branches spouting from it and perky leaves standing at the stems that spouting from them. They stopped bobbing up and down now that Ming has safely made it over the branch and now sits like a monkey-shaped tree knob that molds herself there. The tree may not even be aware that she’s a separate entity any longer now that she’s hanging still in the air and breathing like how the tree breaths.

The tree forgets her now that she can feel the tree. Its barks are wooly smooth but they do feel uneven under her butt. Not that she’s complaining, for oddly the feel of it gives her assurance that she’s really here. The leaves are hers, she is extending herself both upward and downward. The mighty creature supporting her has its roots deep beneath the earth. From above the earth though, it’s stirring the air all around, non-stop, and it’s generating a lively dance that if she closes her eyes she can feel it bouncing on her skin. They are whispering, and Ming is all too willing to listen.

Ming does not know what a trance feels like, for she’s always in one. But the moments with the tree are her favorite. She ceases to notice the passing of time, the still liveliness is peaceful and it passes through her, is being with her. She feels embraced and accepted by the tree in particular. Her hands by her sides tighten on the uneven tree bark she’s holding onto. There’s a current there and it’s getting stronger. She caresses the tree and feels its gentleness reflected right back at her. She feels like a priestess in a high-arched temple, and everyone is here, everywhere. She is not alone.

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