Runt

She stands under the Origin Tree.

It sits at the center of everything.

All existence.

Time and space.

She reaches out for a slender limb.

Pulls it in.

Diagonally dismembers a foot long length.

Cuts a tongue into its terminal end.

Transforms it into a scion.

She lifts her face to the darkness of space.

“Which universe?” she asks.

“The Laniakea” replies the common consciousness.

“What way?”

“The Milky.”

“How many suns?”

“One.”

“How many planets?”

“Eight.”

“Which one?”

“The third.”

“What year?”

“1971.”

“What place?”

“We are giving you the exact coordinates.”

“I am ready” she says.

She dissipates.

Reappears.

Stands waist high in an endless field.

The rootstock for every species of tree on planet three.

Nearly four billion.

Surround her.

She glides her fingers over the top of them.

Imagines the journeys they will soon embark upon.

She looks down at her feet.

Does a double-take.

Mouths her coordinates.

Field four thousand five hundred and fifty two.

Row one thousand and twenty nine.

Column two thousand and ten.

Puzzled.

Perplexed.

She seeks guidance from the common consciousness.

Shrugs “Okay”.

She grabs the runt of the rootstock by its tip.

Cuts it off diagonally with a flick of her wrist.

Slices out a matching tongue.

Combines the scion and runt of a rootstock into one.

Checks.

Adjusts.

Makes sure that the green under each of their barks line up.

rootstock

Wraps gauze around their interlocking tongues.

Waters.

Weeds.

Watches for three to five translucent leaves.

If they show, the scion and rootstock have grafted successfully.

They have become one.

A Beginning Tree.

There is one inside of every being.

It is planted within us.

Soon after our spark arrives.

Here is how it works.

As least as far as we know.

There is one rootstock for each of us.

It is the font of our individuality.

Its our base.

It anchors us to a particular time and place.

The scion.

Comes from just one tree.

The Origin Tree.

It connects us to all other living things.

Through it.

We can.

Transcend.

Our time and place.

Be ahistorical.

See the life in everything.

Recognize sameness.

A Beginning Tree sits at the center of our being.

It is our why.

It is our purpose.

Both can be ours if only we seek it.

Neighboring rootstocks show their three to five leaves.

The field slowly empties.

Lies fallow.

Rests.

Only the runt is left.

She never misses a chance to visit.

It is time to replant.

The tiller arrives.

Turns over the soil.

She races to its side.

As fast as she can.

Falls to her knees.

Unwraps the gauze.

“Let’s try this one last time” she says.

Traces her finger along the zigzag line.

Waits…

The runt vibrates.

Struggles.

Strains.

“Come on” she says.

One nub…

Two nubs…

Three nubs sprout.

Three skinny limbs reach out.

One translucent leaf.

Tiny.

Appends to each of their ends.

She digs the runt free.

Rounds its root system carefully.

Wraps it in burlap lovingly.

the-graft

Whispers into its leaves.

“You are a Beginning Tree.”

She hands it over.

A digger places it on his shoulder.

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