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
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
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.