a tree of tales
I believe in magic. All sorts of it. I believe in faeries, pixies, unicorns, dragons, and oh yes, the Tooth Fairy. I think this world would be much the sadder if we didn't look for pixies under mushrooms, imagine that the violets are pieces of the sky that were snipped out to let the stars shine through (as Anne Shirley says in Anne of Avonlea), and just basically let our imaginations run away with us sometimes. I try to look for magic everywhere I go. (I also firmly believe that if you don't look for magic, you probably won't find it, either.)

There is a great short story called "The Conjure Man"* that introduces the concept of a Tree of Tales. An ancient oak tree that grew outside a library was chopped down because it blocked someone's view, and two of the characters mourn its passing. The conjure man explains that the Tree was ten thousand years old and grew on the stories the wind carried to her. She was cut down because "the world has no more time for stories." Wendy, a young student, decides to plant another Tree of Tales, and wraps an acorn in one of her poems and plants it. She keeps it on her windowsill and reads to it — stories she likes, her poems, articles from the newspaper. And it flourishes.

This is the time to plant trees (now and in the spring), and I'm going to take this opportunity to plant a Tree of my own — with an acorn from our yard, a little water, soil, and a page from my sketchbook. It's a chance to make a little magic of my own. And when the Tree gets taller, I'm going to look for the perfect spot to plant it — a place where children will someday sit under its branches and read a story or two.

*"The Conjure Man" by Charles de Lint, copyright © 1992 by Charles De Lint in After the King, Stories in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Martin H. Greenberg.

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