A family of 5 lives happily in a comfortable home for many years. The children, 2 girls and 1 boy, fight and bicker as siblings do, but underneath the squabbling they genuinely love and care for each other. The parents are happy to have such a warm and happy household.
Outside, in front of the home, stands a large tree. When they were younger, the children used to chase each other around the tree. The boy learned to climb the tree at a young age as he sought refuge from the teasing of his older sisters. The tree stands tall and proud, as if guarding the home behind it.
On a dark and stormy night, the family are sitting in the warmth and comfort of their home listening to the wind and rain crashing against the house. Inside the house is silent. The children are studying, the mother is cleaning up in the kitchen and the father is reading. A powerful crack breaks the silence startling everyone in the house. The children run towards the front window and try to see outside. The tree has been struck by lightening. The family watch as the glowing embers of the fallen tree fade away in the wind and rain. The children are beyond excitement at the sight of the now fallen majestic tree. The scream and shout over each other. Father tries to calm them down and finally orders them to sleep. As he gently pushes the children up to their bedrooms, mother stays at the window, silently staring outside. she feels uneasy. She closes the curtains and follows her family upstairs to bed.
The next morning, the mother wakes up suddenly. She hears a weak moan and jumps out of her bed, running to the bedroom of her eldest daughter. The girl is shivering and clutching her stomach in pain. The parents rush her to the hospital…
In the days and weeks that follow, the rest of the family soon become inflicted with the same mysterious sickness. The family’s doctor believes they have contracted a virus, but the antibiotics prescribed do little to fight the illness. The mother believes a different type of treatment is needed…she calls her aunt to ask for help.
Auntie shows up at the house the next evening with an elderly man. The man enters the house and stops. He senses the coldness of the house although it is a warm night outside. The mother welcomes them and quietly leads them to the front room. The furniture has been pushed to the edge of the room to clear the floor. The man gently asks the family to sit down on the floor, forming a circle. He lights a candle and closes his eyes. The family bow their heads and close their eyes. The man starts to speak; his voice gentle and calm.
“Tell me, who are you? Where are you from?”
“In the tree? For how long?”
“Yes, I understand how upset you must be. Nobody wants you to be unhappy but this is someone else’s home. Can we not find somewhere else for you? I think there is another place where you will be more at peace…”
The man continued to talk to the spirit for over an hour as the family listened with their heads bowed. Then, the man was silent. As he lifted his head, the candle flickered out. The family lifted there heads and opened their eyes, all looking at the old man.
“The spirit had lived in the old tree for over 150 years. In his lifetime he was an explorer and travelled to many different lands. He was upset that his home had been destroyed by the lightening bolt. He is sorry that he has made you all ill. He has agreed to move into the cherry tree that is at the bottom of the back garden. He has gone now.”
The mother smiles in appreciation and invites Auntie and the elderly man to join the family for their evening meal where the food brings warmth and comfort back into their hearts and the conversation brings laughter and love back into their home.
The next morning, the mother wakes up and looks outside her bedroom window. The cherry tree has its first blossoms of the year.
Most of this is made up, but some of it is based on a true story. All Thai people know that spirits live in trees. Hope you all had a happy halloween!