I walked up Telegraph Hill earlier. I’ve never seen that hill during the day, and it looked pretty. A tall tree waved me over – just like that. So I moved closer, leaned against it, and we started talking. I’ve never seen him before, but he said he saw me running every other morning when it was still dark. I asked how he recognized me in the dark, and he said he could smell me because I’m the only human in the park. He asked, “Why do you go running so early?” And I said I liked the smell of cold fresh air.
I accidentally stepped on his foot, but it didn’t hurt him. He’d been rootless all his life, and now was the time for him to strike roots. I wanted to know why, but he wouldn’t answer me. I watched how his arms were pointing in different directions as if he was figuring out where to go—or where I should go. Then the wind started taking control, and the sun appeared from behind the clouds—blinding me.
An ant was crawling on my finger.
After a long break, the tree said, “fill all fruit with ripeness to the core.”
That was the last thing he said.
I could feel some warmth when our legs touched. And I realized that he was quoting a poem by John Keats. But I didn’t know what he meant or what he was trying to say. If you know the meaning, let me know. My understanding of the poem does not make sense.