here the sun never comes out for weeks, and we wait for it, quietly, under the clouds. then finally a day when it comes, and we all reach for it. the dormant ones are waiting there, high in the field, and they feel it first, stretching out their wings, starting to move. the others come as soon as they can, always the little ones and older ones first, the little ones carried, the older ones carefully guided, their wings stiffened with age and not absorbing as well, gently tended to bring the most sun into what they have left. and finally the middle ones can relax and take their share.
if we're lucky it will be a long afternoon and we can all fill up, enough for days or weeks, if we move slowly. if it lasts too long, some of us may go into dormancy, curling up into a ball wherever you happen to be, knowing the others will carry you up when the time comes. or perhaps tomorrow will be sunny as well and then what a happiness, full up and energy to use in play, running, flying, budding.
is that where i came from? the little one wonders.
you did. and i thought it would never happen, it had been cloudy for so long, and i was growing older. but then there was sun for a week, and you came.
you started to grow! i carried you up every time and sat by you. then you learned to talk. what a day that was!
you know. you grow up. you play with your friends, and learn to wait for the sun. you can go up on your own soon! you learn things. you grow. you might be as big as me someday!
and then my own little one?
maybe. i hope there will be sun for you when you're ready.
and where will you be?
you know. don't you know? you're old enough. the oldest ones one day go dormant and then root. you know because you can't move them any more, so you let them stay and watch over them.
are they gone?
no, but they don't need the sun any more. they need the earth now, not just the fields like us, but the deep earth. water them though, if they need it, it keeps them comfortable.
and then slowly their roots reach down and find the others, all the oldest ones. they can't be lost then. none of us ever can, really, but we need help, we need each other.
and then? asks the little one.
and then they rise up above us, like this one, he says, and the tree behind them bends down and knows them.