Like little fairy wings, really. These delicate tree ears grow out of an old tree stump. Some tree ears are hard and gnarly and imposing, but not these. These are delicate ears, like wispy little wings, like thin little flower petals. Around and around the stump they go in their own perfect pattern. Sometimes it seems logical; other times it’s just a joyful abandoning of all pretense as the little petals dash around the stump and chase one another.
|The tiny wings of magic.|
But there’s a reason for it all. It was an invitation, you see. Long ago, this tree sat proudly in the forest, majestic in height and impressive in girth. He had every reason to be proud, and he was proud, but he also carried a secret longing. The birds of the forest would nest in his branches, and all day long he would listen to their beautiful songs. They would come and go, flying back and forth. They would leave for the winter and come back with exotic tales to tell in the spring.
And the tree would listen to them all. He would listen and he would long for the adventures of the birds. When they flew off into a brisk current, he would watch with starry eyes. When they glided back and forth on unseen waves, graceful and peaceful, he would feel those same waves in his leaves and imagine that he, too, was a bird gently gliding. The older he got, the more he thought and wished and pined to fly off into the sunrise as his little bird friends did.
Now as I have told you all, there is still magic left in the forests of Maine, and a magic forest has its own set of rules that are quite different from a forest controlled by man. The wishes, the hopes, the intentions, the desires of this magnificent tree were so powerful and so full of longing that a great willing was heard throughout the forest. This kind of willing cannot be ignored if it contains all of the proper elements: Longing, desire, love, hope, and purity.
Pureness of heart is especially important, for no dark thought of jealousy or envy must be held in the heart of the one who wills. Jealousy and envy turn desire into anger and resentment. But there was no jealousy or envy in the heart of the great tree, only love for his little birds. Love and longing and hope.
And with love and longing and hope, anything can be accomplished. So, unbeknownst to him, his desire--his great intention--was heard in the magic of the forest. Once a desire like this is heard, it cannot be ignored, and the fairies set to work to help the great tree reach his goal.
This is where we came in above. The transformation is nearly complete. The great tree is in the final stages of “un-becoming,” and as he “un-becomes,” he sprouts his tiny little, petal-shaped wings. These wings--these delicate little catchers of the winds of hope--will know how to catch magic’s current in the air. Then when the “un-becoming” is complete, the tree will be too.
And then he will simply fly away.