It’s the Ghaf tree speaking...

January 09, 2019

My dear Shawqi,

Thank you so much for your very supportive letter. Though I would have loved to respond to you in greater detail but sadly I am neither in a physical nor mental condition to do so and for which I apologise. When one is on one’s deathbed there are many other issues and subjects that occupy the mind.

From your letter it is very clear that you are not a botanist. Had you been one you would have guessed my age more correctly and though I was flattered by your assessment, you were 160 years out. I am closer to 250 than 90 and though I do not have a Birth Certificate to prove it, any expert on my species could tell by looking at me. You do not get to be my size and weight unless you live happily for a very, very long time.

It has now been four days since they started the process of preparing me for the move. For the life of me I cannot understand how they are going to achieve that? At almost 10 metres I am quite tall so I can see the streets around me and there is no way, with the width of almost 15 metres that I have, that any street will accommodate me without breaking my sides and damaging the properties on either side of the road. Furthermore I have yet to come across a truck that could take my weight. Maybe such a vehicle exists but can only traverse outside urban areas. I also have to be lifted on to that super lorry, the crane that can do that has to be huge and they do not come cheap. So my question is why would anyone want to spend a small fortune to shift old bones in the certain knowledge that they will perish before they get there?

Hadn’t you heard that sometime back they transferred 70 of my relatives of varying ages in Sohar and they all died! Please ask this question on my behalf, I do not understand humans like you do.

The pain of the wrenched tendons and muscles that were holding me laterally is beginning to tell and I do not think I can survive this much longer. Why don’t they simply put my life to an end, quickly, painlessly and without any ceremony?

If for any reason they decide to spare me this ordeal and give me a second chance to live on the same spot I have been living for so long, then may I suggest they do so by filling in the hole they have dug around me with soil enriched with nutrients, water me over the next month or so on a regular basis and then hope and pray I make it.

Yours in hope, Ghaf

Also read: My dear old fated Ghaf tree...