The afternoon light filtered through the mountain slopes, silhouetting them against the sky and
displaying the bearing of colossal dragons. The sun rays gazed at themselves in the lake’s mirror,
acquiring the shape of dazzling glowworms, now dancing to the beat of the rhythmic movement of the
Amadan opened his eyes
The old Oak was humming an
old melody which it had heard at times from its elders.
“I didn’t know that oaks
sang,” said Amadan turning to face the tree once again.
“Oh, yes !” responded
the tree with a deep voice after interrupting its chant. “We oaks sing to get ourselves off to
slumber when winter is fast approaching.”
And the Oak continued its
“The thing is your song
sounds familiar…” the lad interrupted it once again.
“Yes, of course,” the Oak
replied. ‘It is an old song of the oaks, one which we sing when this time of year comes around.
Probably, some ancestor of yours was able to understand the language of the trees and the
And the tree picked up again
the beat of its melody.
Amadan was not aware of what
was happening within himself. That song… the serenity and the simplicity of the gigantic and
ancient tree… the sunlight at twilight…
He rose to his feet and
approached the unembraceable trunk of the Oak and, without saying a word, opened his arms and
embraced it up to where his arms could reach. Then, he
placed his cheek to the tree trunk and closed his eyes.
The Oak stopped singing.
There was a heavy and stuffy silence in the forest.
A profound peace
invaded Amadan’s heart, and something within him told him that he had never felt peace like
He lost the feeling of his
body. The old Oak and himself were one… One… in peace…
in an unrelatable
in an …
It was as if he awoke from a deep sleep. Amadan assumed that many hours must have passed.
Possibly it would be completely dark.
He opened his eyes and was
surprised to see that the afternoon light was still the same as when he embraced the
He slowly detached himself
from the trunk, took several steps backwards and very gently said :
“Oak, how long have I been
clinging to your trunk ?”
The Oak once again stopped
moments,” was the answer.
“It seemed an eternity to
me,” murmured Amadan while he wiped his forehead.
Something resembling a light laugh was heard.
“Time does not exist in the
kingdom of peace,” the tree said in a murmur.
“Time does not exist in the
kingdom of peace”, repeated a voice within the
“Oak, where does your peace
rise from ?” this time the youth asked with a
lump in his throat.
“My peace comes from the
absolute absence of desires,” he finally heard its voice in the forest.
Amadan did not find the words
that could express what he had felt.
“The trees, so as not to
desire, not even do we desire to move ourselves,” the Oak continued. “For us it is enough to feel
life within and without ourselves, with the murmur of the woods, with the humming of the birds we
give shelter to, with the tickling of the squirrels on our wooden skin, with the caress of the wind
and the sun, with the placid bath of the rain… Life gives us everything, all that we desire and
need. Why lose peace with fictitious needs, with illusions and mirages…”
“I have enough just
contemplating the lake. Month after month, season after season, year after year, century after
century… the lake is always there, speaking to me of all of us who peek in its gleaming mirror.
Mountains, forests, clouds, stars, suns and moons, all go through the big stage of its surface … I
contemplate them all … I place my delight on all of them…”
“From this very same place,
throughout the centuries, I have contemplated everything. And as you may understand, young man, I
have nothing more to wish for.”
And very, very slowly, from
some place of the world of his dreams, the young man still heard it say :
“That is where my peace comes from, Amadan. That is
And then only a whisper with the rhythm of an
Silence was all there was in
“Until next spring, old Oak,’
he said in a murmur, so as not to disrupt the giant’s sleep.