I wrote this piece in 2012. At the time I was writing test questions for a publisher making English learning materials for school teachers. It was turned down by the editor as the answers were not specific enough when it was used as a filling the blank test. However, in reality, there are many ways to achieve the same thing, why can’t students learn this lesson much earlier in their life?
I like the idea about telling a story between a man and a tree, how their lives intertwine and in the end, if the tree is not so unlucky to be knocked down, it outlives the man. But what can the story be? I need to think about it.
After the typhoon blew down the tree at the back of our house, life became different for all of us. My brother lost a place to work. He used to write songs under the tree, but now he had to get a chair if he wanted to work outside. My sister and I lost a place for fun. We could no longer climb the tree or watch the town from there. This is really a big loss because our town looks much more beautiful from a higher place.
Mom was not happy either. “It was already here when your father and I moved in.” she said. “Part of me seemed to be dead along with it when I saw it being knocked down.”
We cut down a part of the tree and placed it in the center of our living room. We celebrated this year’s Halloween and Thanksgiving with it, and soon we are going to be decorating it for the coming Christmas. Although the typhoon has brought a change to the tree itself, it’s really not a bad thing. It had been killed but it was not dead to us. It was still there with us. We just enjoyed its company in a brand new way.