With one hand against its bark, the sad-faced boy pled with the magnificent one – an old one, towering high above, with fog-kissed limbs and the sweet shroud of incense that cleared the minds of even the long-embittered. For the boy, the young one, the acid-taste of hunger in his throat, the perfume brought him clear-eyed into the moment, dry under the spreading and scaly leaves, shading dark against dark, the sound of mist forming into drops and drops forming into a subtle rain all about him.
He felt his feet wet in his canvas shoes, dirt crusting against his cheek, but he no longer wondered where, or how, or why. He simply sat down in the dry dead mat of cedar leaves forming a bed about the bole of the great dark dripping one. The one with bark as soft as a blanket, furrowed and fissured. The one with so much hidden magic, hiding nothing from the boy, who now apprenticed himself to the silent mastery of the old one.
Silent, and deep. Deep the roots ran, deep they twisted, drank, ate, and held. Two worlds came together there, perhaps three: the underground, the upon-the-earth, and the restless sky.
What would become of the boy, now lost to his past? What style of manhood awaited him, now suckled at the breast of so much towering, pregnant mystery?
Murmuring pleasantly to himself, the boy curled tightly, warming up as he opened into that dry sheltered place, falling far inwards into the unknown and accepted moment, drifting with the tides of a deepening sleep.