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  • Writer's pictureangietonucci

The Gravity of Knowing

His new world was sprouted up from the once sweet waters, the living wellspring where all rivers begin as delicate threads and weave their way across the land, carving canyons and filling oceans. A single crimson seedling, carried gently from age to age in a now-tattered pocket, had, at long last, found a place to begin its tedious labor.

When he discovered the spring, The Guardian, stood beside it for too long a time, pondering the birth of nations. He stared at the tiny seedling resting in his rough-lined palm, memorizing the weight of it. Finally, he let it fall, with an imperceptible plop, into the clear water below. Then, his first purpose realized, he retreated into the mountains and settled atop a precipice to wait.

The Guardian watched the quiet spring and its intricate rivers for countless millennia before anything at all happened. So long he watched, in fact, that he began to wonder if the seedling had died on the tiresome journey to find its home. But suddenly, a spark, and the pool began to churn and bubble, ever so slightly at the start, then much more furiously, until the water was frothy and white, and great waves surged along each river as if to relay warning of impending disaster.

High on the precipice above, The Old Guardian sat forward, bones aching, dust and debris wafting away in the shift, to better view the spectacle. This wouldn’t be the first world he had grown but, even knowing the future of all things, The Guardian feigned hope that this one could be different.

And so, from the raging waters of the wellspring, there burst forth life abundant. The Guardian watched and waited for many more millions of years as the lone seed became a vast green wonderland of trees and vines and grasses and mosses and flowering vegetation. All varieties of organisms and fish filled the streams and rivers and lakes and seas. The forests and jungles teemed with insects and reptiles and amphibians and mammals. The birds swarmed the skies. And still, the Old Guardian watched and waited, for none of these creatures needed his guidance.

Eventually, the little children arose from the spring and, though they were the last to arrive in the world, they stood wide-eyed upon the banks of the rivers and claimed all they saw before them as their own. And so began a new era in this thriving realm: the era in which the world would begin to die.

The children were young and lacked much foresight, but they were clever and ambitious, and their quest for power led them to build great cities and amass valuable resources. But they did not care for creating budgets or weighing costs, and they continued to pilfer from their own future.

The Guardian watched the children from the precipice for a time, but they never looked up to see him there. So he came down from the mountain and began to walk among them. He spoke to them in whispers and shared his ancient wisdom and secrets. But to the children, he was old and alien, and his foreign ideas threatened their fragile egos.

As the insatiable race of children continued to purge the world of its soul, the Guardian worried that it was already too late to alter their devastating course. He became more insistent, speaking loudly from hilltops and city centers. But by this time, the air had become heavy and gray, the trees scarce or dying, the waters dark and caustic. The Old Guardian, weary and despondent, traveled to where the first tree sat sullenly on the north bank of the wellspring of life. On its now dry, naked branches, there hung a single withered seedpod, which the Guardian took into his withered hand and broke apart to release a single crimson seedling. He placed the seedling gently into a tattered pocket and began his next long lonely journey.

Copyright ©2019 by Angie Tonucci. All rights reserved.

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