Too Cold

It began with seeds, floating on the wind, landing between the grasses. The weather changed, grew warmer, grew wetter — the seeds caught in the earth and sprang up, first a few, then many, until the ground was dappled in the summer and in the winter the steel grey of a cloudy sky could only peek between the clutter of bare branches.

Animals visited and lived, moved in moved on, their lives momentary, ephemeral. They flourished, they died, they brought seeds and life and sound and disaster and decay; they were the daily routine, the things that quickly passed, that stood out amongst the trees, the landscape. Termites burrowed into the oldest tree in the heart of the wood; a fire killed off all the underbrush and saplings. Deer came for a season, wolves for two.

Trees were cut, for space, for land, for wood, for warmth. First slow, then not so slow. Grassland and pasture and herds encroached. A road marched between and through, and then few trees remained.

The weather changed, grew warmer, grew colder. The last planes flew overhead. The herds died; the road cracked, broke apart. A shoot appeared. The saplings returned.

And when the road was gone the weather grew colder, grew drier.