The Yellow Tree

It is yellow. A bright yellow. The kind of yellow of Bird’s Custard Powder, or the yolks of the eggs we get from the health food shop on Chalybeate Street with the shells that are so tricky to peel off or the yellow of daffodil heads or Colman’s English Mustard or marzipan (not the kind they have in Norway, that is more of a grey colour). A yellow tree that looks like it’s the lamplight that is making it so. But it is not. The leaves have turned and they are aflame. They light up the dark as I walk along Llanbadarn Road. And I am grateful. Grateful for any such illumination.

I often find myself mirrored in the characters I read about. Is it that the experiences they experience are common to most or is it that I am relating so strongly to them that I find a kinship that is not true? Florian Killderry fails at all the creative endeavours he attempts. The son of two artists he knows that he has no talent. His photographs, his writings, started and unfinished, fall short. He know this. And there is Ellie Dillahan, in love with him as she is, though married to the kind but taciturn heartbroken farmer who killed his last wife and child in an accident, still going about her chores while her heart is breaking. And then there is Jane Eyre now in her small village schoolroom or in her two-roomed little house, content for now, though still heavy with her longing for Rochester.

How the ordinary carries us through. The familiar tasks that mark out our days. Waiting, always waiting for the extraordinary. Aren’t you?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.