On Existence

Zeynep Aslan
4 minutes

First of all, you are nothing; you are a hollow seed under the soil, not a tree, not a fruit, not even a weed… Just a dot… In fact, you are a disappointment to yourself, wasn’t it you who was just floating in the air in that bird’s mouth? Who thinks he is a bird, who believes that if only he could get rid of it, he could soar. Look at you now, you’re a point in the ground. You are more than nothing, you don’t exist…

Then, under the ground, unseen by anyone, just because you are thirsty, just to cling to life, you pull out a root thinner than a hair. Because the water of life that reaches you from that root is sweet, you dig up another, and then another, selfishly wishing that the water in the soil farther away is also yours. You only say “I” to spite those who don’t believe in you, even you who don’t believe in yourself. It’s just… Because you are completely hungry, because you like the taste of the water of life, maybe to put out the fire of that endless nothingness inside you, for yourself…

And then? Then you grow up, of course, without anyone noticing you, without anyone seeing you, silently under the ground. Don’t let them notice anyway, what if they cut those roots, you’re scared… You grow, you grow, then you can’t contain yourself, you can’t hold it in, and at that moment, in a moment, you burst out of the darkness where you have been hiding for months. The fresh air is like fresh air… the warmth of the sun warms you up, and suddenly you don’t think about the difficulties of the journey. “Why have I been in the ground all this time?” you ask yourself, “Was I not ready?”. This time you grow your leaves in spite of the time you have lost, with only one thought in your mind: “if only I could soak up a little more sun, if only I could drink a little more of that water…” only because it all seems so delicious to you. It’s never about wanting to be bigger, it’s just about wanting a little bit more life.

But growth is inevitable… Because you need bigger leaves to soak up the sun you want, stronger branches to carry them, a wider trunk to carry those branches, and stronger roots for that trunk not to be cut off from the ground, for it to stand up against all those storms… For this very reason, before you know it, you have become a huge tree, and even among those branches, only flowers have blossomed and fragrant scents have spread because of the happiness that life has created in you. Because you’re in love with life, that’s all. To the water, the soil and the sun of life…

To bloom those beautiful flowers that have never been the goal, or to provide shade for those who rest underneath, or to be a 5-meter giant, or to feed those who come with what is on the branches, even if 200 years pass. How were you to know that you were just a seed in nothingness, whose only wish was to be fed a little more, to live life a little more joyfully. But see, now you exist? You’ve become yourself! You have become a huge tree that everyone admires, aspires to, sees, accepts… Although they only see the result, only you know the truth; the nothingness and emptiness inside you and your never-ending love of nourishment, development and life. Isn’t it funny, life; when you were upset because you couldn’t become a bird or fly, the next thing you know you are a tree, you have taken root, you have become a home for birds, you have become you!

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