The Difference Between a Tree and a Skyscraper | Daily Prompt: Landscape

When you gaze out your window — real or figurative — do you see the forest first, or the trees?

I know trees.

Despite being a city boy all my life, I could still tell the difference between a tree and a skyscraper. We have trees in the city. The parks have them. So do our schools. Some companies and compounds have them as well. I may not be an expert on trees but I am familiar with them.

I also know what a forest is.

Basically, a forest is a huge group of trees. A city’s trees could be in huge groups too but they’re never called forests. I may know what a forest is but I don’t know the forest.

So if you left me in the province one day, I could be almost dumfounded. I could tell you that I see trees but it may never occur to me that I am actually looking at woodland. I may even stand in the heart of the forest and never know it. It sounds pathetic but that is the truth—the sad truth of a grownup. And not just of one grownup. I know there are more like me.

And if that is my truth, do you realize how many kids out there may not see—for one reason or another—a forest in their lifetime?

Well, maybe by their time, a forest may come to mean a huge group of skyscrapers. They may also know what trees are and yet would still be aware that the two are not and would never be the same. And that a forest would only be seen in two places: in pictures and in dreams.



26 thoughts on “The Difference Between a Tree and a Skyscraper | Daily Prompt: Landscape

  1. “Well, maybe by their time, a forest may come to mean a huge group of skyscrapers.” I hope humanity never comes to that… I have seen a forest but I’ve never stood there long enough to appreciate its vastness, at least not as long as I have spent among skyscrapers…a thought provoking read, thank you, Alexandra


  2. I suppose the forest will be something you see when you get to go on a trip, the same as animals are something you see when you go to the zoo. We all learn to make do with what we grow up with. I can see beauty in skyscrapers and beauty in trees. But yes, put me in a forest on my own and I’d likely not be seeing the forest or the trees since I will be too freaked out with getting lost! 😛


    • If the reports in my country are to be believed, deforesting is happening faster than reforesting. And whatever space there is to plant, malls and casinos and mines and subdivisions sprout. All thanks to the oligarchs. If they had their way, my country might well be a cemented tropical archipelago. And the forests are just in the way of that dream.


  3. this comes to mind: i think that i’ll never see, a poem as lovely as a tree. whichever you look at it, you may be right, there might be nothing to see or read some time in the future if no one will do something about it.


    • Thanks for reminding me about that poem.
      I just find it sad that the ones in power are more concerned with the money they make now rather than what they can save about the planet for the future.


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