After the crack, after the crash, the silence, the stillness returned. In the shadowy shade, the fallen tree welcomed the mushroom fungi blossoming in beauty. The shelf fungus, looking like tiny shelves, took up residence on the trunk. Its next-door neighbour was the cap fungus, that stereotypical mushroom shape. Small, brilliantly orange capped oyster mushrooms — beloved of foragers. The jelly rot fungus acted as the welcome wagon for bacteria and beetle larvae to the trunk. The beetle larvae wander weaving galleries in the wood, ushering in the wood lice and millipedes, the robber flies, the ichneumon wasps, who feast upon the beetles. As the wood turned wet and rotten, after the passage of years, in squirm earthworms and springtails, reforming the former tree into soil.
And then one day, a wee seed holding the soul of a tree, flitted, floated and landed softly in the loam which had once been the fallen tree. Slowly, the skinny helicopter transformed into a seedling, growing, growing growing. And then one day, many years hence, a tall fine maple tree takes its rightful place the forest, nurtured upon the site of the original tree.
After wind storms, lightning strikes, this eternal cycle circles slowly. Birth—Death—Composition—Rebirth—Life. One lesson our trees teach is treated each time, each moment, each breath, with care, courtesy, honour, celebrate by making each day the best it can be, for it will return never again.
Author Notes: Decay is not a destination; it is instead a part of life's cycle.