The old man and the tree

‘’ There is this story about an old man that fell in love with a tree. This tree wasn’t like any other tree, it was really stunning and completely awe striking, it had been growing for centuries and finally had reached a stage of full growth and plenitude. The man loved the tree and the spirit of the place so much, that he decided to built his house around it, so that he could live, his last years on earth, always looking and contemplating this unique marvel. The man spoke to his architect friend who completely understood his longing and wishes, for he fell in love with the tree too. He devoted his heart and soul, to designing a house that embraced the spirit of the place and the tree. Once he had finished and optimised the design with his friend, the house began construction, and both men, were more than satisfied with the vision and feeling of what they were about to fulfil and accomplish. The house was beautiful, and the tree stood right in the middle of it, so that all windows faced the beautiful tree; around it, the patio embraced it peacefully. Only a few months mid-way construction the tree started to get sick. All attempts that were made to save it, were in vain, and when the house was finally finished, the tree had died. The construction team were devastated, so much care and love, working around the tree, all that had been for nothing. The architect was beyond sad, his beautiful design had lost all its meaning. The man sat in the living room and looked at the empty place where the tree used to stand. His eyes watered, but as every tear fell, he realised that the tree symbolised himself, his own growth, his own accomplishments and his own full life and spirit; eventually, he would die too, but the house would remain just the same. Within his mind, he could see the tree still growing lively, blossoming… just as within his heart, he could still feel his life pumping and breathing with energy, even though very soon he would die too. He understood his life and energy would still outlive him, just in the same way. A smile traced on his face. He went back outside, looked at his friend, that by that point had agony and melancholy written all over him, and said: ‘’ The tree is still here, look… open your eyes. You did well my friend, thank you. The house is keeping it alive… ‘’

I kept remembering this story over and over again, without knowing exactly why. It made me feel like that was our job, here on earth: to keep the spirits of what is beautiful and timeless, eternally alive in the hearts of man.

Picture above taken in Mexico City, at the Barragán House, in November 2014.

 

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