Incident On the Road to the Tree of Life

אָז יְרַנְּנוּ כָּל עֲצֵי יָעַר
Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy (Psalm 96)

Weary from the journey, he paused in a hillside grove — pines and juniper, black oaks and wild plums.

“Stay,” the trees  beckoned. “Stay, rest a while, and listen to our song.”

“I must go on,” he replied. “The summons is strong.”

“Touch our leaves, finger our needles,” they insisted. “Smell our scents, taste our fallen fruits.”

“My master calls,” he answered. “I can’t say no.”

“But you belong with us,” they whispered. “Blood and sap, sap and blood.”

“The fellowship of the other Tree awaits me,” he said.

“Beasts of the field dwell here, furry and scaled — foxes and turtles, squirrels and lizards.”

“But the seraphs, the cherubs! The cascades of light!”

“Take care, lest they unsheathe their sharp spinning swords.”

“And the embrace of angels!”

“Warmer winged ones nest among us here — thrushes and jays, sparrows and woodpeckers, and a lone great-horned owl. Tarry a while, sweet friend.”

“Very well, but only till the Sabbath.”

@2012 Jonathan Omer-Man