Core

Groaning in the wind, the dead tree resisted, just as it had countless times before. 

Marow, a moss covered stone, called out to the tree whom he had never spoken. “Why don’t you give in to the wind today, my friend? She is trying to lend you a hand and tell you it is time.”  

“Eight hundred and forty nine moons have passed since my last child drifted from my arms,” the tree sighed as another heavy gust blew against him. “I know not why you believe I have grown weaker since that moment. Alas, I know different. I have only one hundred eighty more moons to wait before the sun begins to add to its shine. And I will breed my marvelous children once again.” 

His answer surprised Marow. For he did not understand why the withered tree wanted to continue wishing for the impossible after he was long past the point of no return. 

“Why do you wish to continue battling for life when there is none left in you? I have seen many trees come and go in my time. You, my friend, are the most stubborn of them all.” Steam rolled off Marow’s moss. “I can no longer witness your suffering. It is time to let go and move on.” 

“Sweet, sweet, Marow.” A bough shook in the light breeze. “Know you nothing about the strength of my core? For within this wrinkled bark magic is stirring. For many days, I did sulk, saddened by my plight. Then something special happened and I knew that there was something lacking. Desire. And now my desire has been answered as I have focused on the expansion of my life span. Today the sap pumps through me like never before and I now know my children will return.” 

Curious, Marow asked, “What special event made you realize this foolishness you speak of?” 

In a soft tone the tree said, “Your desire to live has dwindled for many moons and it is clear your time is done. For your desire to move on has become a potent magic seeping into the green life around you, killing everything it touches. Your desire to die has conjured in me the desire to live.”

“What ridiculous things you say! For the moss on my back keeps me warm, dark or light, weathering with me through every fight.”

“Think what you may, my dear Marow. The moss may be still green, but it is leathered. It has been beaten down by your magic. For it let go before my last child passed.”

“You crazy old tree!” Enraged, Marow shook. A large chunk of his moss tumbled to the ground and indeed, it was dry to the core. 

The tree stretched, digging its roots deeper the soil.