There have been several questions about The Learning Tree... I wrote it about fifteen years ago. It was the first short story I wrote. Where did the idea come from? I don't know. Like most of my best writing, I sat down and it just appeared. Thank you to all of you who have commented on the story. Your pleasure from my words means a great deal to me.
And now Part Four...
Aunt Jimaileen closed her eyes, rocking slowly.
"What happened then? How did we get the learning tree?" I asked. It seemed to me that the story wasn't quite complete.
Her eyes popped open. "You are the end of the story, Benjalynne. I am old now. You are the last of the sea captain's descendents. When I die, you must take care of the learning tree."
She smiled sadly. "Oh, Benjalynne, I wish I could be around when you have children. I wish I could be there to watch you with them. You will be a good mother. You must choose wisely when you pass the learning tree to the next generation."
Slowly, she left the room, and for the first time, I realized that she was very old. Age was such a nebulous thing. How old was old? I sat on the sofa long after she left, contemplating all that she had told me. The learning tree was a terrible responsibility that I instinctively rejected, knowing all the while that I had no choice, knowing that it was my heritage.
"What did Aunt Jimaileen see when she held the learning tree?" asked my son, Jacob, as he rocked beside my bed.
"She never told me. She died the following week from a heart attack. I think she knew that it was coming." I rested for a while. "Perhaps she thought I was too young to tell."
"Will you tell me what you saw, Mum?"
"No… I don't think so. But I will tell you that the learning tree approves of you. You must take it now and care for it. Guard it well. There are evil people, power seekers that would take it from you."
"Remember, my son, choose wisely when you pass on the legend of the learning tree."
Today is Sunday so there is a rest from the Saga. But there is still some good stuff on the blogs! Kelly has her Sunday Quote at www.kkirch.blogspot.com and Amarinda will possibly discuss her Sunday chores this week--she's been tearing up her driveway. There is nothing Amarinda can't do so pop over to www.amarindajones.blogspot.com and read all about it! Blessings on your Sunday.