Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’ – The Talmud
Emma nestled into the gnarled crook of her favorite tree. Her fair knees were skinned, her bare feet dirty on the bottom. Tiny bits of bark poked out of her uncombed, auburn hair. Some said the Live Oak was over a thousand years old, it’s wide branches leaving the trunk and growing back down to the ground before curving up again, like a wise old octopus. At 9 years old, Emma didn’t think much about the age of her friend. What she cared about was how she somehow felt part of the Angel Oak as she leaned into its warmth. How she knew in the spaces between each cell that she was loved as is, with her wild heart, her legs that loved the feeling of running fast, faster than any of the boys, and her mind that liked to question everything and everyone. Her Nana loved all those things too. Yes, she would cluck under her breath as her soft, wrinkled hands picked the bits of forest out of Emma’s hair. Yet the nudge was more playful than rough as she was sent to join her four older brothers at the supper table. Unlike the stern gaze from her father and the worried eyebrows of her mother, Nana’s eyes would crinkle at the edges and shine with love, secretly relishing Emma’s untamed essence. She hoped that in heaven Nana was climbing trees with bare feet again. Just like in the stories of the olden days, told by the grandmothers of the grandmothers, but only to the young girls with magic swirling around them. Her Nana had promised that when her time came, it would be more exciting than scary. Emma hoped she was right. Sighing as she smoothed her small finger over the acorn in her hand, the next Dream Weaver closed her eyes to wait for the magic and blessings that were already on their way.