‘Hello,’ says an older couple.
I put my feet on the mulch of autumn leaves and see the strong standing trees that are far older then we’ll ever be.
‘I am older than you, so that makes that tree even older than you than it is older than me.’
Hey, says the couple with the sparkling white dog. They must have just washed her. She greets me as if I’m her best friend.
‘But if the tree is older then me then it is older then you then it is far older then the dog we just met,’ I say in my defence.
‘That is correct. But not in dog years, because in dog years I’m guessing that doggie is much older than the both of us,’ says my friend and adventure buddy Levine.
‘Interesting. So in the end the tree is still the oldest older than me. Except for with her. The tree must be much older than her.’ I point at a little girl of about five years old that is skipping our way making her ringlets bounce up and down like a party. ‘Hi,’ she says and skips on. ‘Hello,’ say the parents while they smile and nod.
‘Yes, but that is only temporarily, because one day when we are gone the little girl will catch up on us you see.’
‘Good point. However, that statement also makes way for the fact that one day that tree will have outlived all of us and the next little girl will be hopping and skipping through these woods admiring the berks, elms, and oaks as we are today and she will become part of this very basic yet mysterious mathematical equation. So the question really is…’
‘Good day,’ say the older people who walk past us both wearing the same boots and the same Fisherman’s hat, all in blending green and brown as if they are rooted in this forest just like the trees are. Tree, older couple, tree, older couple and so on.
‘As I was saying, the question really is: how many generations do we need until we get to the point where we outlive a tree?’
‘And how old will this final little girl be when that eventually happens? Maybe we should have asked the older couple that just passed us; they looked as old as the trees are.’
I look at Levine with astonishment. ‘Maybe that was the little girl.’
‘You mean that was her. You mean to say that the older lady with the moulded green hat is in fact the little girl from our equation! How marvellous.’
‘I think we should ask how old she is.’ I look over my shoulder but I can no longer see the old lovers.
‘But that still leaves the issue of how many generations have preceded the lady with the green moulded fisherman’s hat?’
‘Hey there good afternoon,’ says a gay young man who is taking his French bulldog for a walk in the woods. We are so taking by the little rascal that we forget to greet its owner, but he doesn’t seem to mind, he is fetching his mouth picked stick as if he came with us.
‘I would like a French Bulldog,’ ads Levine when we walk on.
‘You can’t have a dog,’ I say quite determent.
‘Why can’t I have a dog?’ utters Levine in an indignant tone.
‘Because you can’t even keep a plant alive.’
‘As opposed to you who has never killed a plant in her live?’
‘Well I’m sorry to inform you but my plants are all still alive. I got them when I moved on my own and now over fifteen years later they are still happy plants. But then again we always had animals around the house.’
‘Do you mean to say that someday your own plants that you took care of so well will outlive you? That is a sad business.’
‘Maybe you’re right, but at least I can have a French bulldog.’ We are nearing the end of our air-supplying walk.
‘Hi,’ says a lady with hair more white than a sheet of paper. Levine bends over and says: ‘She suits the dog we saw at the beginning of our walk. Maybe they should swap dogs.’ ‘I wonder what she washes her hair with to get it this white. Bleach?’
‘Now as for the matter of how many generations we need to surpass a tree. Say we all grow to be 70 or 80 years old and we in calculate five percent for unforeseen occurrences. Maybe the tree gets to grow up to be 200 years old that would at least be three and a half generations. But what if it grows up to be a thousand years old?’
‘Then it would outlive empires, countries, economies, everything.’
‘Hello there,’ says a couple that are just starting their walk in the woods.
‘You really are very popular here.’
‘So it seems. Or is there something funny about me, you didn’t tell me about,’ I raise my eyebrows for this question.
‘No, but maybe you are the little girl in the matter. Maybe you are the last generation. Maybe you’re the chosen one who has outlived an insanely old tree.’
‘I feel so ancient right now.’
‘Or,’ says Levine while he puts his index finger on his chin, ‘maybe you have ancient dirty ghosts that are just happy to see you?’ He nods in contentment with his own conclusion.
‘Okay, now you are just a creep in the woods. And nobody likes a creep in the woods.’
‘True, but in my defence a creep in the woods does not have Angelic hair.’ And he sweeps his hair over his shoulder like a professional.
‘I hate you, you know that.’
‘I can’t blame you. You and your ghosts.’
‘Hello,’ says the next Angelic blond haired person and she nods, only in the direction of me.