Understanding

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The milky light of the moon glazed the night breeze with a hazy aloofness. They were perfect conditions for a little bit of bonding. I propped myself up against the sturdy trunk of my newest client. I looked up to see elegant branches reach out across the sky, touching the stars and nearing the moon. I needed to be acquainted with it before I started my procedures.


All my life I'd been a man of nature, living in it, frolicking in it, crying in it, and ever so often sleeping in it; I was almost a part of it. We were inseparable, lovers of the closest kind; we knew each other's thoughts, tendencies, and moods—if you could say nature had them. I believed nature did; a set of morals that was unique to me, myself and I.


My main partners were the elegant forms of life that we humans call trees. They were tender and ancient, wrought with understanding only a being hundreds of years old could accomplish. They taught me, and I learned from them. They needed me as much as I needed them. I ended their suffering, the slow and dull dreariness of the modern world, sending them to a place so calm and beautiful that it was as if nothing existed but happiness—their sense of heaven.


The trees talked to me with signs, precious works that only one with much experience could even notice, let alone decipher. I could decipher them with a full understanding, an understanding that I had been gifted with at birth. It was my job to indulge in the life of trees, and do what they could not do by themselves--enter the afterlife.


My current associate, a towering, serene, yet formidable Magic Tree, was being very open with me about everything in its life. It told me everything from its first thought, to the thoughts it was having about its upcoming 457th birthday, which happened to be on the 30th of October. But it was not conveying any signs of wanting to pass on to the next world. It seemed as though it was expressing was denial, but I wasn't completely convinced. The leaves of the tree rustled in the breeze, lackadaisically waving back and forth.

"I know you love life, who doesn't? But who would want to be in a world, especially a tree, where the air is filled with smog, the streets with debris and litter, and the soil beneath them possibly contaminated with wastes?"

The tree did not move, holding its branches taut and its roots firm. I had either locked it up inside itself, or the tree was thinking. I was hoping the latter.

"You seem to be stubborn. Please my dear tree, loosen yourself up!"


At that moment, the branches swayed, this time excitedly, exploding with joy and eagerness to tell me one saga or another. But it was a short and sweet burst of joy, and soon after it started, it slowed to a stop. It was a unique pattern, something I'd never seen before. I was very puzzled.

"Who would not want to go to a paradise, one without dastardly wastes and pollutants?"

The tree gave a small shrug of its branches and its roots were splayed softly beneath me. The tree was sighing.

"What am I not understanding, beautiful creature? Why are you different than your fellow trees?"


The tree gave a curt lowering of its branches, and its leaves drooped softly towards me. The tree had given me a piece of knowledge I'd never forget. A simple gesture that lasted less than three seconds, had explained not only my life, but the purpose I should be pursuing. I looked back and examined my life because of this statement, many, many times since that encounter. I now saw myself as an executioner rather than a savior.

The tree had softly said: "I love life."


When the tree returned to its normal resting position, I stared off into the distance, pondering my being. I did not rise until dawn. When the ring of the sun shown in my eyes, I picked up my hatchet and trotted home, lost in thought.


~One Year Later~


I stood out in my backyard, as passionate about my new purpose as I was about my last. I held in my hand the answer to all my questions. I embraced, truly but simply, a magic tree seed. I bent slowly on my knees, my trousers brushing lightly against soil, and placed the seed in a small whole in the ground. I covered it up with soil, and sprinkled droplets of cool blue water over the patch. The water sunk down beneath seed, assisting the seeds growth as the seed's ancestors assisted mine.





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