The star shine is bright, blinding
sparkling blue and red and orange and yellow
so she has to squint.
The contrast of light against the
total black of the night sky
is nearly unbearable.
She stops at a willow tree;
here she is shielded from the harsh starlight.
The tree is old:
older than herself,
older than her parents, and probably
older than her grandparents.
She listens to the sound of a burbling stream
coursing through the darkness by the willow's roots
and touches the smooth pebbles in the icy water.
She thinks about the world
and how big it is
and how small she is
and how a world so big can be seen by a person so small and fit
inside an even smaller mind.
There is music.
The forest is silent but
her place under the willow tree is filled with melody.
It is coming from
the whispering wind and
the stars high above and
the clouds that drifted across them,
invisible in the night.
She hums along,
and remembers something she then forgets.
It passed across her conscious mind
for the briefest of moments
and she knows it is gone forever,
but it leaves an imprint behind:
the footstep of a memory.
It is overwhelming,
and it makes her feel melancholy. An unexplicable sadness,
or something else entirely.
That's why she is here,
under the willow tree,
singing with the wind and the clouds and
squinting in the star light.
Her own world apart
from the one she was thown into by force, a world where
she can breathe
Only a special place,
under a willow tree,
with a stream and smooth pebbles
and bright stars
and a wind in the tops of the trees
can make her feel free.