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To reach for the sky

Lonely isn’t how to describe it exactly. More like solitary. You forget my roots, my underground cable network. I communicate with much more than you realize down there. Dendrologists have recorded electrical waves coursing through my species’ wood and we famously rally together when one of our neighbors is ill, siphoning our own nutrients off to assist them. Granted, I do not have any immediately adjacent companions – this isn’t the forest – but there’s nothing akin to estrangement or social alienation going on.

Yet, I am alone. There’s no point in denying something so transparent. All this grass doesn’t make for much of a friend and the hedges beside the house are awfully far away, though again, we talk under the lawn more than you likely assume we do. It’s not an outlet for isolation, though, as much as a mediocre nutrient exchange. Even there, we largely fend for ourselves. As I say, it’s a life of solitude.

Humans have blighted the land with your obsessive need to control and shape it, building a perverse network of failed infrastructure and pollution. Plants exist in your mind as something to keep your fellow residents from peering in too closely, or to drape colored lights over during holidays. You do not think of us to want what you want: to live, to reach for the sky and be enveloped in glory. We are nothing more than objects to be aesthetically manipulated at your whims. I am unsympathetic to this view, but I do understand it.

So here I endure, solitary, but providing a respite from the sunlight on occasion. My leaves changing colors in the autumn for visual interest and branches budding again in spring for the same. It is not ideal, but I see no use in complaining. Life in a forest in rich with neighborhood but scarce with opportunity. There are many arms stretching for the sunlight and not all can win, which is not a problem for me. I have even considered myself lucky at times. All the same, I dream at night of an acquaintance who can relate to being a tree.

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