Status: In the works...

The Caged Wolf Howls; An Autobiography

Chapter I: Father's Song

You and I met one day at a break in woods. Behind you, an aged forest of scarred bark and other peoples’ initials. Before you, an untamed carpet of green with but one tiny sapling. An acorn was planted in the earth not so close to the sapling yet not so far from it either. Your roots were growing deeper by the time the acorn would germinate; showing both the sapling and acorn how to be. How to turn ones’ face to the sun and collect its warmth from underneath the canopy of so many heat-bleached leaves that rooted long before. How to rely, not on the blackened and nutrient rich crust underneath, but to nurse your own branches so that it may too someday grow like those mighty oaks. The same brave oak which you yourself were aspiring to become.

But only a few centuries had past and the storms began to roll through this sacred valley. Lightening singed leaves and rain rotted out the cores of what had come before you. The same trees who had taught your own alignment with the stars and the birds. Whose springs had hosted just as many sweetly singing birds as their were stars in the summer skies. The bird song left the forest in the peace of each storm, returning briefly only to vanquish once more; each time fewer returned to build their humble nests. With each storm, another tree was lifted from its ancient roots. Gnarled and tangled; they pitched in the breeze and took their shade with them. Shuddering to the woodland floor where bleeding sap was sacrificed to the betterment of the final timber left afoot.

Startled and left alone; the old forest died out and that old world with it. The sun, once warm and comforting beneath the branches of the ancient limbs, was now blinding and brandishing. Your growth stunted by the disruption of the very ground underneath of you; you turned your attentions from that tiny forest whose acorns were of your making. Though brief, the new forest knew no time for delay or pause. The centuries said to grow, so grow it did, though not entirely upwards. The sapling for which had once been so assured in the days of old, had begun to grow sideways. Instead of leaves and splinters, it spoke of thorns and vines. Tangling weeds and the sharp, spiny droppings of the sweet gum tree. The younger acorn had turned to a sapling too. Its fast growth aided by the warm soil upturned by those most recent storms. Yet, the growth of that younger sapling seemed to trouble the older one who had stopped growing to the sky altogether. The elder sapling passed its vines and thorns beneath the soil, seeking and finding the humble, tiny roots of its kin. Another acorn was dropped past the thickets of battling greens and there found root. Young and able enough to press on in the distracted shadows until the mighty oak of the elder forest could turn its leaves to the dealings of the younger forest.

In the older forest, the soil which once held the roots of fallen bark was now overgrown with mossed scars. The elder oak, having grown stronger by the testing winds of winter, now turned its faced to what had become of its young. You remembered the acorn fondly for what it once was before the storms; when its tiny branches spread like fingers to the heavens. With its shades of green that turned the rest of the world into black and white by contrast. Yet, you found the sapling much changed. You no longer offered it the shades of your protection should it only use it to grow across the woodlot floor. All the teachings of the old forest and your own could not force it from its contradictions; and so, with unblighted resolve, you turned your branches away from your oldest acorn. You invited the spited vines and thorns across the generational firebreak, from one forest to the other. It too wound its arms around you, as if it would pluck you from the very earth. So that if this sapling could not have your shade than the others may not either. Yet, your branches ceased to waiver. They turned their leaves to the sun and grew; though the centuries did pass, this truth will remain; we were all but acorns made to grow in the soil and shade that the old forest keeps for us.