There is an old coconut tree in front of my grandfather’s home at Kaluthara ( Coastal city in Sri Lanka) . The tree was there for generations. I still can remember my grandfather looking at this tree from his nearby workshop. He was a carpenter. He chop, cut, shape timber into to beautiful wooden furniture’s and objects. He was a man with principals. He made his living by offering these beautiful furniture’s to daughters of rich fathers in our village. Who often had to buy these expensive furniture’s as dowry. Sometime my grandfather offered his service free of charge to someone who can’t afford dowry. He said at the end only goodness remain. I remember the way he firmly declined the idea of cutting that huge count tree several times even to lucrative deals. For generations I couldn’t understand him.
It isn’t only me had this issue. My father was the first one to make argument to his father.
My father argued saying that coconut tree isn’t valuable as it used to be now, which gives little coconuts and also the threat to home in case of tropical windy monsoon. But grandfather steady as coconut tree never hesitate to change stance.
It took monsoon to realize the true meaning of that silent giant.
Somewhere in early nineties, during early monsoon, when rain nonchalantly hitting the roof making scathing noise, when I was just five, my father was thirty five and my grandfather was sixty five, three of us sit in a row next to each other in an old floor watching rain coming down. I fascinated looking at earth bugs appearing amid wet mist and our pet dog try to catch them. I saw my father and his father looking at coconut tree. It wag to the blowing wind but never breaks. Tenacity of that giant tree kept insisting blowing force of monsoon that it is still young to break. Stubborn to gives it up for whatever reason.
I went my grandfather’s home recently after sometime. It wasn’t the older place used to be twenty three years ago. New veranda, large rooms and whole floors are tiled with resplendent attraction to call a modern home. I find it pleasant and noticed that the floor three generations of sons used to sit is still there with tiles on it.
It start again. The monsoon. Unlike the older days it comes late this time.
I sit on the tiled floor. I recall two men who sit next to me. Both are gone now. But someone else still out there fighting for life. Taking rusty blows of monsoon wind. The true mark of champion is hesitate to give up just like this old coconut tree. It keep feeding fresh energy for life.
I sit on the floor, looked at tiny rain drops. I see shadow of mine next to me. It looks exactly like my father. I know that tree still there and the reason for my grandfather and father to respect it .
It takes time to read little things and connect them to your life, real trump of living is to find this connection.
Still coconut tree wag like good old days, but it never breaks.