A few years ago, I was being rushed to Manipal Hospital in
a screaming ambulance early one morning, with a suspected
brain haemorrhage. Needless to say, I'm still here: the cerebral
irritation, though still a mystery, turned out not to be a haemorrhage
after all. At the time, though, everyone thought I was dying. I did too.
Lying in that ambulance, blacking out and coming to, over
and over, on waves of pain, the thought calmly came to me:
I think I'm dying. And: Shouldn't this be more dramatic?
But no, it wasn't. It was a quiet, oh-well kind of resignation.
I looked up through the window and saw treetops streaming
past as the ambulance raced me across town, and it struck me
that dying meant I would never see trees again. So I looked
and looked at the trees, trying to stay conscious and keep
my eyes open to take in as much of the green as I could -
while I could.
And then I lived! So now, I never ignore a tree.