Of Trees and Love and Other Things
Sylvan silver dots speckle the verdant hues that rise majestically outside my windows, the mountains of the Central Andean Range, amidst which sits the city of my birth. The spots, really silvered trees are called “yarumos” and seem remnants of the mellyrn trees of the Forests of Lothlórien, or perhaps, their inspiration. How wonderfully strange to find them here, having heard their echoes so long ago in places so far away, while all the while they’d been waiting for my return. It was a long wait, I’d become a member of the Colombian diaspora all too soon and had been an exile of sorts for far too long. Being back seems a miracle but a miracle touched with bits of melancholy and traces of sorrow and regret. One can’t travel the world, falling in and out of love with diverse people and places without planting slivers of one’s soul in distant outposts, slivers that refuse to leave when we return from all the far off places we’ve also called home.
It’s a Wednesday but a local holiday so I’ve a bit of time to ponder and a lot to ponder: on one side sits love, as elusive as quicksilver, like a willow o wisp, always almost here, ever so slightly out of phase, tantalizing and terrifying, laughing at Murphy’s jokes. On the other, peering in through my windows lie rebuttals; assurances flowing from the land that I so love and from which I sense affection and concern, a land with faith that I’ll protect it, love of a different sort, love returned; neither more nor less personal, different but as intense as that other kind, at least I think it is, right now, today, and I’ve some memories that assure me that perhaps it’s so. That’s pretty equivocal though.
I wonder if Tolkien’s Eldar once lived here. I sometimes smell their essence, especially walking on unpaved paths, climbing around thermal pools toward snowy peaks all within a lush semitropical setting abutting a nearby sky. They’d have loved it. Perhaps they did and perhaps they’ve yet to leave. It’s a place drenched in legend and folklore, a place many consider a focal point for primal universal energies, a transit point for the mystical and the magical and the divine. Unfortunately, like so many other places, it’s also a place perverted by injustice, inequality and despair: like Middle Earth, assailed by Sauron’s sons. The land waits patiently for us to make things right, to harmonize its different shades of beauty, but it’s patience, while long, is not eternal. Right now it’s resting, thickly flowing mists blanketing the peaks and crevices and hills and dales and springs and brooks, the greens fading to grey then vanishing.
It may be that I’ve just ended a relationship, one difficult to define but as with everything about it, I’m not sure. It’s lasted either seven years or several months or perhaps forever. Or perhaps it was stillborn which would mean it never started, but how can something that never started end. She called last night, we spoke of trivialities in important sounding words, then we hung up, the shadow of a longing I’d thought gone echoing against the reflection of the night sky in my bedroom window. I examined it, as though isolated and from afar, intellectualizing it, or trying to; explaining to myself how foolish feelings can sometimes be, looking down on myself from some unfathomable perspective, as though my soul were floating distant from my body, judging, criticizing and then, having lost interest, wandering away. Strange comes in many different hues and shades and shades of strange in black and grey and white haunted me last night.
Sylvan silver dots speckle the verdant hues that rise majestically outside my windows, the mountains of the Central Andean Range amidst which sits the city of my birth. The spots, really silvered trees are called “yarumos” and seem remnants of the mellyrn trees of the Forests of Lothlórien, or perhaps, their inspiration.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2013; all rights reserved