[ This is an exercise in imagination and writing. I took a picture and then, along with its description, have penned the thoughts that ran in my mind when I was seeing it. ]
I stopped my bike on the way to take a break and breathe in the intoxicating beauty of the landscape around me. After two hours of non-stop riding, it took time and effort for my feet to balance my weight while standing. I had started ascending the mountain about ten minutes back and already I could savor the giddy height on seeing the ground a few hundred feet below. I tucked my bike away from the highway, sat on a rock that looked like a colony of algae feeding on a giant almond, lit a cigarette and listened to the silence taking shape around me.
My worn out shoes sniffed the edge of the desolate road that curved out from behind the mountain on the right and sank into the trees on my left. The dazzling sunlight streaked through the grass and trees creating new rainbows with every tilt of my head. My green sweater stretched from my back to clothe the cliff behind me. The vegetation was thick and ominous. In contrast, a small patch of the ground on the opposite side of the road had been cleared and looked barren and forlorn. The farther edge of the patch slowly rose from tiny shrubs to a dense forest, walking its way to drink the river flowing below. The loneliness was augmented by a single naked tree, bereft of leaves, guarding the patch.
The tree was standing tall and proud amidst the surrounding lowly shrubs. Its nakedness was a stark attempt to soar above the mundane. Its pencil-tipped branches were trying to hold and etch its existence into the fleeting bolts of clouds, in vain. Clouds there were many, like an army moving forward to besiege the sun. But every soldier, however valiant, was impaled mercilessly by the furious, golden monarch of the sky. In a monstrous, collusive alliance, the sun crushed the invasive forces and fed them to life beneath.The cigarette amalgamated into the sunlight. I broke myself out of my reverie, started my bike and resumed my journey.