Little Birdie loved fruit. Not all kind, she did have some likes and dislikes: she wouldn’t even go near to rotten ones or those that have been soaked in chemicals and other stinky poisons, but she loved crispy, juicy ones. Somehow not really gooseberries or plums, they were just okay.
Her favorites were apples; she could probably just live on it.
She was walking, flying and jumping around in the Big Orchard, minding her own business, saying hello to the walking trees and bushes, other birds, rabbits and deers, chirping, playing and dancing with them, making plans with them of how could the Orchard be arranged in a better way, admiring the greens and blues, smelling the sweet flowers, sometimes fighting for survival, crying for a few loved ones she has lost, trilling with rejoice so beautifully that others could never forget her voice and she was very glad to make them happy, discovering many corners of the Orchard, picking fruits from here and there, tasting them, truly enjoyed the ones she liked and threw away the ones she didn’t, sometimes she would eat so much that she got sick, she was learning which plants and animals were dangerous and how to go about them, which ones were good and safe – sometimes she would even hear that “You can’t just sing away”, ‘You are smiling too much”, “You can’t just fly wherever you want to”, “Life is more serious than you think!”, but whenever she listened to such scare-mongering, her wings couldn’t take her as high as she wanted, so she didn’t bother any more and just kept on singing and flying. Birdie lived in the Big Orchard.
One time, she thought she was quite happy: she nested on a Pear Tree that gave her shadow when the Sun was burning hot and shelter when it was cold or raining. The Pear Tree loved her being around and wanted to keep her forever, would do everything he could to see her smile and hear her sing. She got to see other parts of the Big Orchard as well, met many other trees and bushes, flowers and animals, make friends with them, and she always faithfully returned to the Pear Tree.
Pear Tree was a great one, caring not only for Little Birdie but all the others around him. However, he had pears and Birdie didn’t dare to admit even for herself that it was apples that she’s been always craving for, ever since she was aware of herself, and she was still searching to find some she could really like and eat as much as she wanted. There were maybe moments when she quietly wished that Pear Tree could grow some, but she quickly brushed off this thought, saying to herself that “somehow everything will come out alright…”
Then one day, Little Birdie saw an Apple Tree for a short moment. He was just waving at her for a second, and said a quick hello to her in such a special way that she thought instantly:„This is it, the most beautiful apples I have ever seen. My road is to fly around this Tree, wherever he walks” and this concept struck her as bolt from the blue, yet it felt natural, like something she had always known. But she forgot it instantly, for she was bound to the Pear Tree and that was the order of the Orchard: when you nest on a tree, you shouldn’t even think of going real close to another one, period.
The Apple Tree was a giant amongst all trees, tall and proud, emitting rays of love, wisdom and power. Emerald green, crispy leaves, strong trunk, dancing branches – and the apples, oh! Shiny ruby balls, big like a child’s head, crispy, and as they were smiling and dancing on the tree branches, they were giving out such wonderful otherworldly melodies that anyone who heard it was captured forever. So was Little Birdie; her main element was music and she has never experienced such ethereal and powerful tunes that this tree was making through its apples, she could feel the tremendous divine energy coming from Apple Tree.
She would often listen to these sounds, humming or trilling along, or just closing her eyes and flying beyond the stars and the Moon, places in the Universe that ordinary inhabitants of the Big Orchard wouldn’t imagine. Birdie sometimes envisioned herself close by the Apple Tree, singing the melodies she hears from the apples, dancing with them and creating new songs together with the Apple Tree – just a life she has been always dreaming of…
Months went by, and the Apple Tree walked by to see Little Birdie again; this time it was more than simply a flying visit. They started to talk and discovered that they had quite some similarities that could lead them together along fascinating roads to journey down.
Birdie was flying higher than ever in her entire life, singing so wonderfully that her voice mesmerized others more than ever, she never felt so beautiful and radiating and never saw the future so wonderful.
In fact, she did have some bad feelings, because day by day she realized – independently of the Apple Tree stepping into her life, just from paving her own path and envisioning how she would like her future – that she wasn’t really happy with the Pear Tree, but didn’t know how to tell him, she didn’t want to see him break.
Apple Tree was so strong that although he was very far away, in the other side of the Big Orchard, yet it seemed the Little Birdie was just right by its side. They would talk a bit about this and that in life, and mainly about things that made apples so special of all fruits for Birdie: they meant life, spirit, beauty, knowledge, wholeness and perfection for her. Already what she could perceive of these apples was more than tempting for her, she could die for touching them, singing and dancing along with them, taste them, she was one burning desire to fly close and rest in Apple Tree’s strong arms. Apple Tree seemed to like Birdie as well: he spoke very softly with her, told her how beautiful she was, how much he wanted her to be there with him, and he could listen to her voice forever…
Birdie loved Apple Tree so much that she couldn’t imagine anything she wouldn’t do for him: bring him water or fresh soil in her beak, tidy up the undergrowth, keep away bugs and rodents, inspire him with her singing to create new rhapsodies, and loudly make the whole Orchard know where can one find the most wonderful apples. Or just sit quietly by the Tree and stroke his branches gently when they get a cut, scratch or bruise, with such a tender touch that no-one else could give.
But apparently, this was not what Apple Tree wanted: one day, not so long after that the strong and powerful Apple Tree and the fragile and beautiful Little Birdie were shedding tears together because Birdie couldn’t be there for him when he would have needed her so much, not so long after that, Tree said to her: „Now it’s enough, I don’t want to hear about you at all for a while, get off!”
Little Birdie could see what she was doing wrong, she understood that such a giant Tree needed to have a bigger space without birds chirping around so much. She tried to apologize and make it up for the Apple Tree, but he was not willing to listen, simply disappeared from Birdie’s view. He seemed to forget that communication was the only solution for everything.
One thousand icy daggers in Birdie’s breast, chopping her delicate heart into one million pieces…
It was clear for her that Apple Tree meant no hurt, and actually, her painful bitterness was not caused by him: Birdie knew that it was only an accumulation of heartbreaks she’s had through billions of years – at least, she felt that it has been going on for such a long time. She wouldn’t blame him for a second, not even in her darkest sorrow.
The only way she could conceal her anguish was to escape into creation, that has always helped. She would take long walks in the Orchard, so that she could concentrate on the environment and not see the pictures of Apple Tree in her mind or anything that would remind her of the lost treasure. She focused on magnifique skies, exciting caves, fragile flowers, powerful waters, rushing trains and for these moments she could forget that she had a heart to mend, the joy of creating kept her in present time and made her look ahead. She would then share these captured moments with her friends and making them smile warmed her broken heart.
When she sang a sad love song, her voice would find their way through the tears strangling her throat, crying out all the pain that has ever existed in the Universe… Yet, Apple Tree wouldn’t hear her sharpest screams…
But when she sang a happy tune, she would imagine that she was hugging her Apple Tree and her heart overflew with the greatest joy, the purest crystal voice soaring out of her soul, lifting up every and all listeners to the sky and beyond. Yet, Apple Tree wouldn’t listen to her most brilliant melodies…
Birdie had to keep on flying, singing and smiling, for many others in the Orchard knew her as the one to cheer them up, her singing and her love brightened up their days. And she had to make a new nest for herself and her little one who was just trying his wings and learning to fly.
Because Little Birdie was not bound to Pear Tree any more. She couldn’t nest on a pear tree, when she always wanted to have apples…
So she was now free to fly around and rest on any trees, the whole Big Orchard was there for her, and many indeed called her with sweet words, wanted her to be near. But Birdie just couldn’t (or didn’t want to?) get Apple Tree out of her mind: he embodied all the ideals she could imagine, and in fact, this we have to say if we want to stay as objective as possible, she didn’t meet any other similar ones. Apple Tree was just so extraordinary in her eyes. And her beautiful eyes have seen much.
Now Birdie keeps herself busy: learns new songs, makes friends, figures out ways of showing her tunes to the world, creating nice pictures as blueprints for the future, taking care of her little one, making herself strong so that she can keep on flying and singing – what else a Birdie should do?
But on lonely nights, Little Birdie would surround herself with magical music, close her eyes and dream about sitting on top of the most wonderful Apple Tree, looking at the Big Orchard laying below them and up to the sky where those beautiful, shiny ruby apples play hide and seek with the stars. And her singing unites with the whispers and thunders of the Apple Tree, merging into the most miraculous sounds that have ever been born…
– Andrea Gerák
Stockholm, 2009 November