He was almost sure they bought the house because of the magnolia tree strategically planted in front of the house. Well, he can’t blame the realtor for the blooms, one cannot stage such things. He later admitted to his wife that the tree covered in blooms sealed the deal for him.
Whatever the reason, it was now their home and the tree never failed to impress him for years to come. Every year he stares in awe at the magnificent tree and its ever so beautiful blooms. It was like he had never seen such beauty before and could never get enough of it.
He remembers like yesterday staring at the blooms while the cab drove past with his wife. He felt lighter as though a huge weight had been lifted off his chest. He wondered if the fact that she hated the magnolias was a precursor to their many differences. Shrugging that thought aside, he plucked a few blooms and walked into the house. Settling at his desk, like nothing happened, he started working at his book with renewed vigor.
It wasn’t easy to be an author but he swore that his first best seller was inspired by the magnolia. Though later he had to improvise the book and cut out the section altogether, which he forever regretted. Not giving up, he wrote many a book centered around this one constant in his life . But it failed to impress the publishers. He had to brush away the mound of flowers to get to his rejection letters. Somehow, he noticed, reading the letters slightly scented by magnolia blooms were not as hard on him as the others.
Many a time, he lost count of the days and sometimes weeks. There was this one year when he turned reclusive, with only his drinks for company. One day on his way out to refill the stock, he stopped in his tracks seeing the blooms on the tree. Has a year gone by already, he wondered. “Well, it’s not like I got places to be or things to do, so who cares”, he muttered moving on. From that year on, the tree was the only calendar he followed.
The tree had just begun to bud when he came back from the hospital. The doctor had made it clear that he did not have much time left. He had listened to it as if the unwelcome news was about someone else. Staring at the buds he wondered if he’d live to see the blooms. He felt a pang of sadness realizing that the tree was the only thing in his life that never failed him.
The next year, he gazed at the tree in full bloom from his bedroom window, wishing he could feel the flowers and stand under its beautiful canopy one last time.
A light breeze swept past the lane. A handful of blooms came fluttering down the tree, landing on his body while it was being carried out. It was almost like the tree paying its last respects to the man who was its lifelong admirer, whose life somehow seemed to have been made better just by the sight of the tree in full bloom. There will be no one to enjoy like he did when the magnolia blooms again.
from our guest writer Deepa Joseph