I'll start with "tree."This is from an AVE train ride from Madrid to Figueres. AVE is high speed rail. We were going about 300KM/h at the time.
There stand kilometers of mental distance between a hill covered in trees, even shrubs, and a hill with no more than grass and a single tree, growing at an angle, from somewhere close to the bottom. That second tree on that second hill puts all the other hills into sudden perspective; it makes the distance up any of those hills a day’s work. Suddenly, even from afar, a hill, with a single tree growing at an angle from a third of the way up is the perfect place (among an entire landscape of hills, farmland, and mountainous outcroppings)--the only place--for a picnic. If you could get there.
You’re not even the picnic type. The idea is recognizable as a romantic one from stories and films, but the reality has always come out rather damp-bottomed and bug-ridden, with soggy food and far more stress and drama than any lunch deserves. What presents itself in a pretty little package of romantic realization soon becomes the realization that romance is quite often very much a picnic.
What to do, then, with the beauty of that tree, standing watch over nothing? Is it enough to note, and pass, and think wistfully of opportunities wasted?