He stood with his back against the trunk of the tree and watched the trees move

on

The trees, of course, moved with the moon. That was the basis of it, and it
was not a stretch of logic to understand that the moon was exerting the same
influence on the ground that it had over a tree.

The leaves rustled and clicked. They seemed to be trying to keep up with the
moon, perhaps to catch up to it as it approached and in some way bring it with
them. So they swayed slightly as though they were part of a breeze.

And the whole thing was in fact, the wind itself. It felt like a storm, a
breeze, a wind, a storm of leaves.

That was when the realization hit him. It was all a game. A beautiful and
wonderful game designed by the Great Spirit to test and to test the humans.

Had they ever considered that there might be something far more important than
a game?

He realized then, too late, that he had taken his first step toward what he now
knew to be his doom.

The wind whistled softly through the leaves. The moon, a silver crescent through
the top branches, moved around the horizon until it was almost straight overhead.

“Do you agree?”

He had expected, even hoped for a voice, some other voice than his own, but
there was no one to hear it. The wind was all around him. He could feel its
pressure. It was not a storm at all, but a gentle breeze. He stood with
his back against the trunk of the tree and closed his eyes. He felt the
pressure on his back, and the ground was beginning to shake as an earthquake
broke its way through the ground.

The sky and the tree were suddenly visible again, as though it was daytime, and
the moon had moved away. There was the sound of the wind and the trees
were moving. They were swaying in time to a steady drumbeat. He stood there a
moment or two longer, but he was not able to see the leaves. Then he turned and
walked away from the tree, back out among the trees, trying to put some sense
into his mind.

He had lost track of the song. He thought that he may have heard or read or
smelled it at one time, but he could not be certain. At some point the storm
passed and he felt a cool breeze on his cheek. The wind was no problem of
perception, not of his own imagination, but of the great spirit that was
behind the wind. And then he remembered.

“Let’s go back to school.”

He turned and walked back to the school. He walked with the wind blowing on
him and through him, the leaves and branches and the trees all swaying in time
to the noise. There was no noise in his ears. He walked and the air was
perpetually alive, the leaves moving in their dance and the trees swinging.
He was completely absorbed in the sound of the wind, the rhythm, and the
exhilaration.

When he entered the school at mid morning, he was surprised to find that only
one classroom had taken in the wind and the leaves.

“What the hell?” he thought.

The teacher, a woman, was standing by the window with one hand resting on the
teacher’s shoulder. She was staring out the window. She made a motion
to open one of the classroom doors, to usher the students in, but something
pulled at his mind and he shook his head. She turned and looked at him,
and he thought she said, “No, I don’t think so.”

“No? No! No! This is our chance to save the world! Save the world from the
fear of the sea! You don’t understand! Don’t you see what we can do? We are
doing this because the teacher said they need to learn about the ocean! But the
wind is real! The wind is real! So the teacher said. But do you see? We need
the wind. We need to be here and the wind is here. There is no school and
the world is going to end! So why didn’t we come in then?”

As the teacher, the one who told him the school had to be opened, stared
at him, he realized then that she was staring at him, perhaps even with
desire on her face, but he saw behind her eyes the teacher. She had not been
telling him a true story. All along, she had been playing the game.

It was clear to him by now that the entire universe was playing a game. It
was a game and she was playing the game. She no longer had a role, except to
tell her students what they had to do. She had been their teacher, but she had
not known the lesson. And here was her lesson.

He walked back to the classroom with the wind in his mind, the trees shivering
and swaying in time to the storm. He understood then the beauty and power and
the magic of the world. He had been a prisoner for a time, and in a time of
transition, he had finally tasted freedom.

He could not move with the wind, the trees, the leaves, the wind. But
the teachers mind was free and there was only one teacher.

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