The Droplet Tree

Tank Green/ March 2, 2024/ Writing Walking

Photo of some thin branches of a tree with droplets of rain on them. Behind is a grey sky, with the sun to the right, and a tree in the distance to the left.

Photo of some thin branches of a tree with droplets of rain on them. Behind is a grey sky, with the sun to the right, and a tree in the distance to the left.

This here tree is a special tree. It does not have a formal name, but the Society of the Ladies of Blackheath Common told me they call it the Droplet Tree. The Society has lore which dates back centuries, the most important being that only the most dedicated early risers have a chance of encountering the Droplet Tree, as the sun takes the droplets once it gets high enough over the horizon. After which, the Droplet Tree becomes indistinguishable from other trees; the magic is broken.

According to the Society, when the early morning walker encounters the Tree, and should they take the time to pause and wonder, they will find a different scene reflected in each and every glassy bead suspended from its branches. Each walker’s set of scenes will cut across a particular emotion. So, for instance, when Betsy first encountered the Tree, her scenes were a scattering of kindness; whereas, Prunella’s first encounter was of myriad moments of laughter. The Society’s analysis is that the early morning walker will see, not necessarily what they want to see, but what is most relevant to them.

The Society believes that the Spirit of the South places the Droplets upon the Tree during the night, ready for the early morning walkers. The south is, of course, the goddess direction; the Society are certain that this is why the Droplet Tree seems to favour women, and why it brings forth the treasures most hidden from each woman to light. The Society has no proof of this, only a reflexive record of encounters beginning 23rd February 1923. That said, it cannot be a coincidence that each woman who has encountered the Droplet Tree, has experienced a shift in personal understanding. Oh, a lot has happened as a consequence of the Tree: husbands and lovers have been left, children have been forgiven, and career changes have been effected. But mostly, underneath the surface change, an emotional rebalancing occurred: the miserly became generous, the sad became centred, the incomplete became full. It genuinely is a tree of wisdom.

I count myself lucky to have encountered the Tree, as I was not overly early in my walk, which is why only a few crystalline beads remained. I stepped off the path and gazed long and contemplatively at the scene after scene I was gifted. After incorporating the message being delivered, I turned to find an older, white-haired lady behind me. Patty was her name, keeper of the lore she was, and so I added my learnings to the Droplet Tree record, which Patty has now stored safely in the Society’s Head Office.

I am certain now of the things which must come next, of the actions I must do, changes which must occur, things I must discard. I am not saying that it will be an easy road, and it certainly won’t be short, but reader, I know now what road to take and which are the marking stages. I have been gifted this certain and comforting knowledge because of the Droplet Tree. So, I urge you to get up early one morning and walk out onto Blackheath Common, and find for yourself the hidden treasures the Spirit of the South has left there for you, suspended and full of light and wisdom.

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