• Mike E.

Conversations With Marry--Volume 1

It'd been a while since I visited the river. I'd been a little obsessed over the great Oak I'd met there. I felt like she had much more to tell me. In our previous encounter (read here), she'd told me her name was Marry the Witness, and she spoke of witnessing both good and bad things from her place on the riverside.

I felt compelled to return to her. I had many questions for her. I wondered if she had anything more to tell me.

"Hello, Marry," I whispered as I ran my hand along her gnarly trunk. "Not sure if you remember me, but--." The great Oak let out a deep laugh. "Of course I remember you. I've always remembered you, since the first time you came to the river, many years ago."

Delighted but somewhat taken aback, I sheepily asked her, "You..remembered me?" "Oh, yes," Marry replied. "I am Marry the Witness. I remember all souls who visit the river. It is why the Lord of all things planted me here."

I remembered in our previous encounter, Marry had told me she'd witnessed many souls and many events, both good and evil.

"What are you witnessing today?" I enquired, a bit playfully. Marry didn't miss a beat. "A silly soul who talks to trees," she chuckled. "Well, you can't really blame me, Marry, when the tree talks back to me," I answered, snickering. "I suppose not," she responded.

"This is a little weird," I thought to myself. "I'm developing a rapport with a tree."

I wanted to know more about Marry's life. I had many questions for her, but I wanted to be polite, so I forged ahead slowly.

"So, Marry, you said the Lord of all things planted you to be a witness. Why? Why does He need a witness?" Doesn't He already see everything?"

"Of course He does," Marry explained. "He did not plant me to be a witness for Him. He planted me to be a witness for all the souls who come to the river. I watch them live. And I have seen them perish. I hold their stories in my heart."

Amazed, I noticed the tone of Marry's voice had changed. I heard sadness in her voice. "Are you sad, Marry?" I asked her. "Why are you sad?"

"I hold sadness for the souls of the river. The abused and hurting ones. Most come here alone, like you," she quietly said. "I hold much sadness from you, my friend."

Somewhat bewildered, I stepped back. "But," I murmured, "We just met. How do you know my sadness?"

"Did I not say to you I witness all the souls who come here? I have seen you here on many occasions. Here, you have shed tears. And here you have cried to the Lord of all things. I have seen your tears. I have heard your prayers."

At that moment, I felt exposed. I felt shame. I wanted to run away, because I remembered coming to the river in the past, and crying and praying. "Oh my," I thought to myself. "She knows everything I have shed tears over. All that I've prayed about. She knows. She knows it all."

Marry sensed my shame. "Do not be ashamed," she told me. "Every soul has a story. You are no different."

Even with her reassurances, the shame became overwhelming. I began to shrink away. "Um, I have to go now, Marry." "Go in peace," Marry said, knowingly. "When you return, we can talk some more."

"If I return," I thought. I told Marry goodbye, and walked slowly away. "Until next time," the great Oak said.

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