An old longan tree

My room is on the second floor, a small room with two windows, one facing south and one facing west.

I really like looking out at the distant mountains from the west-facing window in the evening. At this time, the sun is setting in the west, with lingering afterglow and layers of clouds and mist. The mountains in the distance are faintly visible, just like an ink painting, making people feel refreshed and joyful.


If it's in the summer or autumn season, you can still hear the chirping of insects and the croaking of frogs from downstairs. The sound of frogs is rare because there is no nearby water source, but the chirping of crickets is always continuous. If lucky, a few birds will fly across the sky, adding a touch of liveliness to this ink painting. However, because there are not many trees nearby for them to perch on, I don't expect any birds to come.

A few years ago, there was a tree outside the window, an old longan tree that had been there for decades. Unfortunately, it has been cut down now, roots and all. The one who cut it down was the one who planted it - my grandfather. I have heard him say that they had this tree since they were very young, and when it was cut down, it had grown to be quite thick. When the longan tree fell, I was away studying, and when I came back and saw it, it was barely alive. I couldn't understand why such a long-standing and beneficial tree had to be cut down.

It was only by chance that I learned the reason behind it - it all started with the love of an old father. At that time, the tree had grown to over ten meters tall, with lush branches and leaves spreading in all directions. Right below my window was the kitchen. Several branches of this old longan gradually extended towards the kitchen, unknowingly causing a big problem.

As the seasons changed, the leaves of the tree would fall onto the platform above the kitchen, often blocking the drain. My old father would occasionally climb up a ladder to clean it. On the ground, my grandfather, who was in his eighties, would be constantly worried, afraid that my father would accidentally fall down.

Later, at some point in time, my grandfather used homemade cutting tools to forcefully cut off the extended branches and then cut the entire longan tree in half. Perhaps other family members and I had objections, but no one said anything more. Thus, the longan tree that had stood for decades withered away. Shortly after that, my grandfather, like the old longan tree, also fell down.

I am naturally filled with regret for this longan tree, but whenever I think about the original intention behind it, my heart is filled with mixed feelings.

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