With the progress of civilization, unfortunately, many bad things were inevitably done. We cannot attribute everything to a system of attempts and failures, because through history so many patterns are constantly repeated.

What hurts me is the way people treat nature. Although I’m not really a naturalist type, I’m not blind. Now that I see sprouts starting to sprout in my jar from the grains I have sown, I marvel again and admire what is constantly happening in that same nature.

And I am even more surprised, but also appalled that people are willing to do this treasure because of a handful of ducats.

And I remember one tree that I grew up with, but also that generations grew up with.

It was not the only tree, on the contrary, we had them at home, and with our grandparents in the village, only this has always been different.

Even when I was little, we called our school oak the old oak. And even generations before and after me.

At the time, he seemed unbreakable. He stood proudly and offered branches, which seemed to me as a child a kind of shelter and consolation.

So many things and events bind us all to that old oak.

There used to be a workshop in the same yard next to the old school where we went to technical classes and took a bike exam. I’m not sure it exists anymore. I mean that building, and that exam, because today's children are born already smart, so they don't need that, or a lot of what we had to learn.

I remember the story of that same teacher that when he started working in our village there were only five cars. And how then there were no turn signals, but the direction where you want to turn was shown by hand through the window. We just nodded in disbelief, even the hundredth time he said it. Teachers used to be sacred to us, and if he lied a little, we didn't even think to blame him.

I remember going to music school and wearing an accordion. Then we brought our instruments ourselves. Admittedly, when I first started that school for the first couple of years, the accordion was always carried by someone of mine family, because I could barely carry a bag. By the end, I still wore it alone, no matter how much I had had enough of music and accordions and school. There was just no going back. So when I catch something, there is no retreat. Okay now I’m lying a little bit, it wasn’t up to me, but my strict mother. Even though it was a good school of perseverance.

And then I remember the letters I passed on to my neighbor, which were shyly sent to her by a young music school teacher. Then I didn’t understand what exactly that meant, or what it really was between them, but even that is no more today. Those some old-fashioned courtships that were destroyed by the speed of information exchange that came with the development of technique and killed almost every notion of romance.

I remember playing under an old oak tree, water and a small rockery that surrounds it. But that was already later, when my child started school. So I used to take a shortcut next to the old oak to the store a hundred times when I needed to bring something to my mother.

And there were so many other little things I could think of just to reach a little farther into some memory drawer where the old oak is hiding, but all those happy and less happy stories and events of ours went down in history when the old oak was finally demolished one day .

It was nothing unnatural. Years and years passed (I don’t know their true number) and the branches started to fall off, even when there was no storm. He began to rot and slowly disappear and his time simply came.

After that somehow nothing was ever the same again. That big void remained and it was as if someone had erased a part of our history. I haven’t been through a backyard in a long time, I don’t even know if it’s still part of the downed oak there, and even better. It was hard to always watch over and over again that he was gone. It was as if he had taken with him all those beautiful days of our childhood.

It all brings me back to the beginning of the story (or to the end) as whoever wants to see it. There is no respect for anything today. So also towards the nature with which we are supposed to be in symbiosis, because without it there will soon be no life for any of us.

Fortunately, I live in an area where we can still enjoy the charms and benefits of nature. Although we notice very well that the notion of seasons is almost lost, at least the one we used to be used to. And that is one of the proofs of how much we, as irresponsible inhabitants of this only planet we have, have managed to destroy almost everything. And we are still doing that, at a speed as if there is no tomorrow. Ignoring the future of neither ourself nor our children.

What I can do, with my sister’s encouragement, will be that little garden where I hope at least something will sprout. I know it’s not God knows what, but it’s also some beginning. Just as I now look with admiration every day at the flowerpot on the terrace where a few stalks of herbs have sprouted, so I will continue to marvel at whatever will (and I guess will) grow in that magical garden of ours.

In addition to the garden in the small orchard, old and new fruit trees are still growing. They will never be an old oak, nor do they need to. They have given and will give fruit as all these years when we were or were not there.

Because… really, nature does not ask for much, nothing that we cannot give, and in return it returns a hundredfold. And no, I’m still not some newborn naturalist, I just notice what’s going on around us. I hope, however, that we will wake up and that there will be old oaks again as we were lucky to have as children.

April 23, 2021 19:26

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