She longed to blend in, to never be noticed and to become one with her surroundings. Mea Lama, drifted off with the geese as they flew south for the winter. We aren’t quite sure of the date. It was somewhere between the last perfect day of autumn and the first flakes of snowfall in the winter of her hundred and twenty-third year. She was often seen perched up high in the trees, like a hunter waiting for the turkeys to waddle through the thicket, though she wasn’t a hunter. Instead, she was a watcher of birds, of squirrels and of herds of deer as they made their way through the forests. She climbed trees to free the leaves that were stuck, that hadn’t had the good fortune to turn robin red, russet and golden yellow and drift gracefully to the ground. She climbed trees all winter plucking leaves and releasing them. She felt at home up there, amongst the furry woodland creatures.
She didn’t go to town to socialize. She didn’t hang out at the coffee shop to gab. She had that “Fuck Off” air that kept most people at an arm’s length away from her. She would have pieces of twigs and leaves in her hair and stuck to whatever she was wearing, often leaving a trail of forest debris in her wake. She was most at home in the woods. She loved the silence broken by the creaking branches, the whistle of the wind and the chatter of the squirrels who had become used to her in their territory.
By the time spring arrived in Fairfield, a small midwestern town amongst the cornfields of Southeastern Iowa, she would have all the leaves removed from each and every tree. The buds loved the ease in which they could burst forth with the first warm sunny days and the spring rains. Mea made life easier to be a tree. She spent the spring and summers clearing the forests and woods of all dead branches and fallen trees. She kept busy all year tending to trees.
She will be remembered for her actions, not her words. She would often come to Open Mic at Cafe Paradiso, on the North East corner of the town square and stand on stage for her allotted 10 minutes. She’d push play on her old Sony Tape player and play the sounds she had recored from high in the trees. She’d gaze off thru the windows at the back of the room. She never spoke a word and no one asked her any questions. It was odd, but the locals liked it.