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Donna Flood

Old Tree near Scott Homeplace, Baird, Texas
Old Tree near Scott Homeplace, Baird, Texas. Photo by Faye Heffington.

The boy appeared to be scrubbed and with the appearance to suggest he had just   walked away from the home of his mother who fussed and ironed his shirts just so, so.  When he began to talk, the illusion was quickly dropped. There was a wisdom about him in some way.

They visited of many things, but since they were in their back yard the conversation turned to an old tree at the edge of the property.

“Would you look at that old tree?”  “It doesn't look like it knows which way to grow.”

“It really doesn't.”

Margie was always open to discussion.  “Oh!”  “How do you know?”

“I was interested and did a lot of reading about the way trees grow.” “There are, of course, different theories.”  “Some say that they are magnetic swirls in the earth.”  “I've even read that when there was a great flood the waters swirled into the earth.”  “These are the places where the magnetic swirls are.”

“That old tree spread apart like a bird trying to fly.” Margie observed.

“Well, as a matter of fact, this is how they are called, something like a dove spreading its wings.”  “The theory is that they twist and turn not knowing which swirl to follow when two or sometimes, three swirls
are together.”  “It is said when folks build a house over the swirls combined with a bedroom over that swirl it will truly be very disturbing to them.”

Margie knew the ways of the earth and, indeed, the universe was great and mysterious in so many ways. “So you are saying look to the trees growing?”  “Would it be best to build a house where the trees grow straight?”

“Most definitely.”  “That is, of course, if it is a valid theory.”

As certain as this young man's interest in the world around was the tiny bit of information he shared that day. Never in the years passing even as much as forty years later was there ever a time when Margie saw a swirling dove like tree that she did not remember the young man. They had visited only for maybe thirty minutes. His name and his features were lost to her mind, since she never saw him again.  But the words he spoke as to his willingness to study an intricate secret stayed with her.

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