The time has come. The time for stories.
Are they true stories? Yes. Although I wish some of them weren’t. You will probably wish they weren’t. But they are.
My story begins as a little sprout planted from the seeds of several other stories’ trunks and limbs. These stories are old, rough stories; some are twisted and some are hollow. Some are deep-rooted and weathered, dependable and sturdy. Most are somehow beautiful in their own ways. Others are better left alone in the deep, dark forest.
My story was planted in the soil of the desert. The desert I came to love. You might be surprised to find that anything can grow in a desert; truth is, some of the most durable plants grow in the desert. God knew I would have to be a resilient little tree, and thus counted me worthy of beginning in such a place.
I was quite the strong-willed little tender shoot. I challenged my parents constantly with my endless need for information, knowledge, and activity. I enjoyed directing others and being in charge. A “natural-born leader” and “possible prodigy” you could say. My loves became talking, teaching, and telling tales. So much potential.
Soon after another sprout joined our little grove, the storms came.
One storm came in the form of a teenage girl. I wish I knew what kind of forest her story came from. Whatever it was, it had whittled away at her humanity and conscience. She stole innocence from this seedling… crushed her at the very center.
Not long after, the hurricane came. The grove had seen it approaching for some time but could not weather it. The grove would be forever uprooted, never to be the same ever again. My story was ripped from the ground and transplanted. It would be years and years before I ever felt any sense of belonging or safety.
My story went through a couple of transplants in the early years. The new groves tended to me in the best ways possible. But there were younger plants that needed more attention, and so I often felt left to cultivate on my own. I often felt strange sensations I could not name. Over time I would come to learn they could be called loneliness, abandonment, and despair.
Yet another storm raged through the small, budding leaves of my story during this time. This predator would further ravage the already damaged stems of this small plant. Parts of the little tree were chopped to the root. But the little tree would not know the extent of the damage until much, much later. She would always remember but would hide them in the dark shade.
My young story had been thinned and dampened off. The small tree struggled for life itself every day, but most never knew. Little did I know, however… that the Master Gardener was coming to the rescue.
… to be continued …