When we were kids we used to play until the sun hid behind the trees, play until our parents' calls echoed all around us, play until the world was dark and quiet and ours.
We had one hollow tree miles from home, wide enough so that at scrawn(more)y sevens we both fit inside. The bark smelled wet, always, and you were afraid a squirrel would jump from the branches and pull at your hair. Sometimes we'd hibernate there, sometimes we'd collect twigs, make nests, sometimes you'd find an odd acorn and shove it in your mouth before realizing acorns aren't meant for human consumption.
It had been there for as long as any of them could remember. Stiff bark that looked as though it would crumble in the wind, but stood firm. Nibs had told Wendy of the time that the Lost Boys had meant to strip the entire tree of its bark(more) in hopes of using the clear patches to carve their names. Not one strip of bark had come off, each Lost Boy falling tired into the mulch-soil at their feet. "It took all of one year before we gave up," Nibs had proudly exclaimed, and Wendy nodded (even though she knew full well that he had exaggerated very much).
And now, the great Hollow Tree wasn't just a landmark, it was a home. The Lost Boys had tunneled and dug until they were near the roots of the tree, living in and around, making bunks in the dirt. Peter had made sure that they only chopped off the dead bits, for he had lived in Neverland the longest, and was aware of the Hollow Tree's worth. Something so old was not to be played with, and he had mentioned many times that they were very lucky it hadn't come to life and killed them all in their sleep.
"Trees can't do that," Toodles had sighed, flicking a log onto their campfire. "They only grow things. Like leaves. They can't hurt you with leaves."
Peter, who had been sitting cross-legged on a log, hopped to his feet, startling the boys. "You seriously misjudge the wiles of the wilderness, Toodles. Look around you! Do you see another man or beast awake and prowling?"
Toodles shook his head.
"They are too scared! They sleep and wait for the trees to let them live. And the Hollow Tree is their leader. Don't be so dumb."(less)
It looks so inviting, so dark and moist and crumbling with bits of soft, red wood. On the other hand, it probably has a variety of bugs, and maybe even a snake or two. It's too small for me anyway. I'll just sit down beside it; lean on the(more) tree to lick a lollipop and read a book.(less)
There is a hollow tree in the Idaho. An oak tree in fact; it has been there many years, too many to count. Now it sits there with rubbish inside it hollow innards, but this tree has a story. A beautiful story.
About 1800 the Shoshone tribe was in(more) the Montana area. They had warriors, hunters, men, women and children. This tribe moved around a lot, but something kept them from moving this time. The elders murdered of great war. The warriors prepared. Sure enough, war came upon the Shoshone tribe.
This war was quite long and killed many of the tribes men. The elders knew something was happening. They had visions of a "thing" giving life. Then, they found it. The hollow tree. The tribes men weren't sure what it was. They walked towards it, a great light came from the inside and cured all the wounded. The hollow tree made a legend for it self. Four years later it guided Lewis and Clark through part of their journey. The people who needed help found the tree, by some sort of external force or spirit. It guided James Buchanan in 1846 during the Oregon Treaty. It was there in 1889 when Montana became a state. Now it faces death. It is many years old. It has dealt with many years of abuse and neglect, but one, one remember it's glory. An elder, one hundred and twelve years old. The legend of the hollow tree has been passed down through his family. He says "Many years, that tree has been there. My ancestors said it would die with the tribe. Me being the only living member, I will die with the tree. I feel that the only reason I have lives this long is because of the hollow tree."
Inside a hollowed-out tree, one that had been left on the ground for years to rot after dying where it stood and being blown over in a windstorm, an ant and a beetle met on a field of battle. They didn't know each other, at least not very well. The(more) ant, in the beetle's perspective, had disrespected beetle-kind when it had carried away a particular leaf from the beetles' territory. The beetle, from the ant's point of view, had picked a fight when it pushed the ant, causing the tiny insect to stumble and drop its pocketwatch, breaking it into pieces. This dishonor could not stand.
And so they met at this agreed-upon hour on this agreed-upon day in this agreed-upon space. Their seconds stood to the side seeming almost to enjoy the others' company were it not for the proceedings at hand. They were unable to work out a suitable treaty. The weapon of choice had been pistols. The distance, 50 paces--one pace for each foot.
When the sun rose to its apex, it was time for the ant to fire. A miss would allow the beetle to respond in kind.
As so often happened in the world of insect dueling, their armor-like exoskeletons became dented but not pierced. The ant and beetle, having worked out their differences honorably, regarding one another with a new respect and no need for an apology from either party. They went their separate ways as the sun began a slow ascent toward the horizon.(less)
We would meet in the center of the woods, at the big, hollow oak tree that stretched up to the heavens and touched the sky. We'd crawl inside to our own little world, where we could watch the stars or the clouds pass over the little window the tree(more) provided for us. We carved our initials in
FKL + DRO
and watched as they slowly grew into the tree, no longer fresh and out of place over the years but rather looking as though they had always been there.
We lived a lot of the important moments in our lives in that tree.
She told me she loved me in that tree.
I told her that I loved her in that tree.
I grew to associate that tree with love. I imagined love as the roots, hidden but always there. I imagined love as the trunk, sturdy and strong through the harshest storm. I imagined love as the leaves, always coming back.
Too bad the last one was wrong.
After she died I couldn't bring myself to go back.
After she died I never loved again.(less)
It's been their special place for as long as she can remember. It was where they first met; underneath a vibrant green tree just blooming, both of the happy pair in the spring of their lives. In their summers, when the tree stretched its leaves to their fullest, they(more) would leave sappy notes in secret in "their" hollow in the center of the trunk. In the fall, when the leaves fell to the ground, they would chatter away, happily seated in plush chairs of fallen vibrancy.
Now comes the winter, and there are no more leaves; just a lone woman and a black grave to keep her company.(less)
The knocking resonated through the tree.
"Did you hear that?" She looked down at the small boy pressed up against the tree with a look of pure cute concentration etched into his face.
"Yeaaaaaah, but why did it sound weird?" he asked her.
"Well sweetie, it doesn't have the res(more)t of tree in it. It's empty. Hollow."
He looked at the tree, chipping at some of the bark with his pudgy fingers. "Momma says this tree is dead and don't know why you keep commin back."
The aunt kneeled so she was face to face with him. "Well, the tree may not be alive itself anymore, but it's not dead. Look around, what do you see."
"I see birds.... and lots of bugs. Oh and a squirrel!" He pointed out each as he called out to them joyously.
"And there's a lot more animals and plants, but they're not dead. They're alive because of this tree, because it was once alive and it's still here. So the tree isn't entirely dead, not really. It lives through what it did for the rest of the forest, how it helped and let the other animals and plants live. So as long as the animals and plants it helped, help others in the forest, it'll never die. Does that make sense, sweetheart?"
"Kinda. So the tree will live forever?" he asked.
"Is it like that for us too? Like Uncle Will?"
She gave a small smile at the mention of her husband and ruffled his hair."Now you're getting it. So don't be sad if we're not always right next to you, Henry. Just remember us and we'll always be there for you. No matter what."
It was late in the afternoon, Joe and I were hard at work. We would switch on and off, chop the tree with the ax until we were tired and then take a break and let the other person take over. Finally the hole was big enough to fit(more) through. Since Joe found the hollow tree he went in first.
The hollowed out center of the trunk went past the ground and into the roots. In our minds we could only imagine what was down there, a cave, an abandoned bomb shelter, or maybe a hideout animals during the winter.
It was quite a drop, bit of a snug fit but there was a lot of space. To get back up, we had tied a rope around a tree and put it through the hole. This way we could climb up it. It was a challenge but we could definitely do it. When we got down, we discovered it was a small cave with a small hole on the wall. After we checked everything else out we went to see what the hole was hiding.
The hole got smaller and smaller until it reached a mid section, then it opened up to another cave which was even bigger than the one we were in. Again Joe went first. He crawled slowly, talking to me while he did it. Then he stopped and went silent.
Then he started screaming for me to help him and quickly disappeared into the hole faster than he could run let alone crawl. His screams got louder, until they suddenly stopped. Then fearing the worst, I turned around to run. Only to find my rope had been cut and hanged lifelessly on the floor.
two children passed by a hollow tree
empty on the inside, as they could see
dry as a raisin, thin as paper
there was no life left in this dying sleeper
the children were sad to see it go
this tree that had given them hope.
some time later they would pass by the tree
teeming with life, as they could see
all sorts of creatures scattered about
in this tree of life without
the children inside them smiled in relief
the tree that died had given them belief
when something dies it still has meaning
even at the end there is still a beginning
for the unlicensed lumberjack
who hollows out trees
where their hearts are
because he cannot bear
to feel he is alone
(more) because he does not
have the heart
carve the insides
of his own
his axe felled hundreds
of beech trees
by the boreal shore
he had realized
that its handle
was made of wood
worked by someone
and from a tree
felled by another man
who had perhaps
his own insides
could be full. (less)
come over tomorrow evening. there's going to be a meteor shower, and the willow tree in my back yard has this excellent nook in between the two largest branches.
it's more of a hollow, really, but i figure that if you don't mind feeling like hibernating animals w(more)e can squeeze in together. -- oh, you're allergic to pollen?
well, the tree is really old and doesn't bear flowers much anymore, not even in the spring. bark's really soft, though, and it's super stable, so don't worry about it. the constellations will be spectacular! i've got a telescope--
yeah, this friday. no, it's not the night before finals, you don't have to sweat it! we can even lie down on the grass if you don't like sitting in the tree. there's mulch, but i promise to tell you if you get any stuck in your hair, and it's like a cloud out on the lawn --
your... boyfriend planned something. i thought you guys broke up last week?
oh. oh, right.
no, my bad, i don't want you to have an allergic reaction. and there's a chance of rain anyways, no, i don't mind at all. sorry, finals coming up, i'm going to be swamped next week. i'll just... go.
see you around. tell your boyfriend i said hi.(less)
Standing on wood. Looking around, he found it more appropriate to say they were standing on a vast tree. Sized enough that, were there life in the abyss, it should be a city. In the darkness it just gave off the same paranoid vibe that most of the abyss(more) did. The Dark Battalion no longer biting at their feet, The Judicator took a moment to inspect the tree.
Green, the tree was green. Which meant that somewhere within the colossal herb there was life. Not the standard life-on-mars life, but the sentient I-think-therefore-I-am life. In the abyss, it took more than physical energy and parts to bring a being to vitality. It took a mind, small and sharp or big and hard, to fend off the ever-creeping enervation of the abyss.
Priority one became investigation of the tree yet priority zero was of the futuristic soldiers. After a moments thought, he decided to call them the Advance Battalion. Gave them a name because nothing came here on accident, and giving them a name would give them power. A connection from him to them to that either side might sometime need.
Coming out of his reverie he heard hollowed echoes as the Advance Battalion gathered its numbers closer together. Which told him two things. One, although the tree was alive it was hollow and slowly dying. Two, they were trying to figure out their strange situation, and he couldn't let that happen.
Of the little he knew of the abyss, he knew for fact that the more you knew, the more aware of the abyss you were as an entity, the harder it was to leave.
He observed them a moment to find which one was at the center of the gathering, and with a thunderous clap beckoned him forward.(less)