Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Vanity and Eucalyptus

Out on the ground floor terrace yesterday and trying to lull Yana into a deep sleep, I looked up and observed all the trees that grew so beautifully in our backyard. Of course there was my favorite tree of all--the Eucalyptus. I cannot recall when I started to refer to it as my favorite one. Maybe when my dad said it's what koalas eat in Australia. Or when he proudly said we're the only backyard who has one (of course I know now that that'd be impossible).

It used to be dark skinned and crinkly. But yesterday as I gazed upon it, its skin is lighter and younger. A few months ago the old skin started falling out and I thought it's gonna die. As it unfolded before my very eyes, it was a renewal thing, kinda like the ones you see on facial product commercials on tv.

Then I began to realize how very similar this is to us. Especially now with the continuous development on cosmetic surgery, people clamor to look young again. They don't wait til the natural process takes place; the eucalyptus took two decades to be like this again. Though on the external we may look ravishingly young, we don't fool anybody. We're still old. Still our age, decades and decades still written all over us. The tree, if you scrutinize the skin, looks way younger. But take into consideration everything, and you know it can't be five years old.

Take the height, for example. When I was a kid, I used to take a tall stool to stand on and get some leaves (dad said it cures cough or something like that, which I later believed with the emergence of Eucalyptus-flavored Halls). At the start of highschool, you'd be able to reach the leaves if you were on the second floor terrace. It's the best times that I remember of the tree. With the leaves parallel to the height of the house, once the wind blows the whole house smells like Eucalyptus. Now, nobody could get even a leaf. It's taller than our two-storey house now. Maybe it's even as tall as a four-storey building. The roots probably growing up until outside of our six hundred square meters territory.

See. So we shouldn't rush into looking young. We would, eventually. I never thought the tree would look young. Not after I've spent my entire life seeing it as a crinkly old tree. The more people (or women, at least) try to look younger, the more they look a lot older. Good thing my mom isn't in that frenzy. She looks thirty something--she fools a lot of people who get so surprised to know that she already has a granddaughter--when in fact she's almost fifty.

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