Merlin's Tree -- Part 1
When Merlin was young, he used to stand under the branches of an old oak tree. It was so old, its roots reached into the deepest bowels of the earth.
Merlin stood in silence, his piercing blue eyes staring into the unknown, listening to the blowing wind of autumn, the wind from the West.
At first, he didn't know the future from the present and from the past. He just felt some portent, some miracle was coming to pass, or was already unfolding in its own time.
With long, flowing brown hair, a slender body wrapped up in a red tunic, and that praeternatural gaze, Merlin was shunned by most people in the village.
He no longer paid attention. He was used to it, when people avoided his gaze and shuffled their feet with unease.
In time, he moved to the woods, outside the village, and what had been considered just a weird boy came to be regarded as a strange maverick, dispensing advice and healing remedies to kings and commoners alike.
Only when he became Arthur's adviser, did the people start to fear his wisdom and his magic, for it was whispered he was the devil's son. Yet, nobody ever suspected or even imagined the long hours spent alone in the woods, in the silence of his hut, when Merlin trained himself to listen deeply to nature's sounds and voices, when he taught himself to recognise plants and heal ailments.
What he did for Arthur has been known for a long time. It is the stuff of legend. However, in that very day he was standing under the oak tree, was the seed of all that was to come.
Merlin stood motionless, staring into the wide expanse of the grey sea, just before dawn.
At that moment, he was a young man, with no remarkable past or present, just a shapeless future in his hands and eyes.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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