story told from the point of view of a young tree-turned-staff
| I was once a strong sapling, stretching my branches and leaves toward the life-giving Sun. I lived with my sisters and mother on the edge of a cool, quiet pond. Life was glorious; basking in the warmth of the Sun, drinking fresh water from the pond, and enjoying the twittering chittering escapades of the animals as they played on and around me. One day, a grapevine crept into my grove, suffocating most of my sisters and choking me - keeping me from reaching toward the Blessed Sun. Over time, I began to loosen the vine’s hold on me. Then one day, in the heart of the Season of Sleep, a human came and cut the constricting vine from me, freeing me once again to enjoy my days playing in the winds.
Father Beaver, a graying old beaver worn with the work of his years, came to me during the following Waking Season asking me if he might cut me down; for I would make a grand addition to the family dam. I agreed, already knowing that my destiny did not lie on the bank of this pond. Father Beaver measured and gnawed at me until he was happy with my size and shape; unburdening me of my branches and twigs. Before the old beaver had an opportunity to place me in my spot on the dam, however, an old lady came hobbling down the path near where I lay. Instantly, I knew that the Mother wanted me to be with this care-worn woman; my destiny was finally clear! I sang out to the woman in the ancient tongue of the Elders. Noticing me, she stopped her laborious hike and shuffled over to where I rested. “Blessed be the Mother,” she mumbled under her breath as she took hold of me in her withered, shaky hands. Using me as a walking stick, she returned home, where she began cleaning the mud and remainder of bark from my exterior. The old woman decorated me with feathers, beads, and gemstones. She carved symbols of magic and protection into my grain and bestowed upon me a place of honor near her hearth. From that day forth, I was by her side in all she did; her walking stick, a conduit for her power, a sentient object that was caressed and loved.
The old woman has since died, as have her daughters and her daughters’ daughters. Through all the years, I have been honored, loved, and cherished by this family; working with each one in her turn. My wood has been worn in places by years of constant use and the symbols carved into me have had to be recarved a number of times. Through all this, my destiny has been clear; for, here, I shall live forever.