Looking up in the dictionary, I find the word ‘Branch’, and I prefer his first two meanings:
1. f. Each of the parties that arise from the trunk or main stem of the plant and which usually sprout leaves, flowers and fruits.
2. f. Number of people who bring their origin in the same trunk.
I am struck by the second definition. We start from the same trunk, all of us, and we seem to have forgotten it. Lost in the maze of our troubles, too often we forget our common stock, not only with our fellow species, but with all that binds us to life on this Earth, our great mother who welcomes us and feeds us.
How important it is to recognize and care for the branches, common trunks which unite us and where we all come from. And how important it is to do the same with this Earth -so beautiful, primal trunk, which we are ruining slowly. We will not be aware of the value of air until we have to pay for air. We will not be aware of the value, the true value of the Earth, until we have nowhere to sow. We get lost in the branches of the accessory, and forget to take care of the essentials. If every person took care of their personal plot, their emotional, social and ecological branch, with real tenderness and love, this world would be something else. So easy, so hard. Mandela said it best: changing a society is relatively easy, but how difficult it is to change oneself. There it is the origin of everything.
And I remember now that Octavio Paz also wrote a poem, entitled ‘The Branch’, which reads [free and unofficial translation]:
Sings in the pine tip
A bird stopped,
Trembling on his trill.
Stands, arrow, on the branch,
Vanishes between wings
Music and spills.
The bird is a splinter
Singing and burnt alive
On a yellow note.
I raise my eyes: there is nothing.
Silence on the branch,
On the broken branch.
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