This story is called a “paraple.” It’s a parable about an apple. The apple’s name is Evie, but it could just as well be Stevie because it’s about everyone—boys and girls alike. For now, though, this story is about Evie, a girl apple . . .
Evie’s home was the Tree of Life in a beautiful Garden. The Garden was in a place called EVEN. Everything in EVEN was perfectly balanced and whole. There was day and there was night in EVEN. There was black and there was white in EVEN . . . and every color in-between. Everything was in EVEN—absolutely ALL THAT IS. The Garden in EVEN was perfectly complete, and so was Evie’s life there.
Evie loved her home in the Garden. And she loved the Tree of Life so much that every day she sang the same song: “I am in the Tree, and the Tree is in me. We are One and the same. Just as the Tree holds me in its heart, I hold the Tree in mine. We are together forever and as far as I can see.”
And that’s how it was for a very long time . . . until the day Evie changed her tune. “I am in the Tree, and the Tree is in me. We are One and the same,” she began. “Just as the Tree holds me in its heart, I hold the Tree in mine. We are together forever and as far as I can—”
Suddenly Evie stopped singing. “But I have been wondering lately,” she said slowly. “What else is in EVEN—in the parts I cannot see? I wish I could get down from this Tree and go exploring. I am ready for an adventure! My apple friends keep talking about that place called Earth. I wonder what that part of EVEN is like.”
The Tree of Life was listening to Evie. “My sweet little apple,” said the Tree, “all of EVEN is yours to explore. You are free to have as many adventures as you choose. If you wish to explore Earth, I will help you prepare. However, there is something you should know.”
“What is it?” Evie asked.
“EVEN is much bigger than you think,” said the Tree. “It has many, many parts, and each part has its own special purpose. While you explore the part of EVEN called Earth, it won’t look or feel like your Garden home. So you might feel lost sometimes. You might forget for a while how to find your way home. But eventually you will remember. No matter what happens, you will find your way.”
Evie was silent for a while. “Well,” she said rather slowly, “now that you put it that way, I’m not sure I want to go to Earth anymore. As a matter of fact, I may not want to go anywhere at all.”
“It’s your choice,” said the Tree. “Stay or go. It is always up to you. But if you choose to go exploring, you should know what’s always true: No matter where you go, you are always with me in EVEN. And no matter what you think, I am always with you. You might feel alone sometimes. But my branches reach far and wide, and my roots are deep and strong. I reach everywhere in EVEN. So wherever you go on your Earthly journey, I will be there too. As you and I are connected right now, we will always be connected.”
The Tree inhaled gently, and Evie felt her heart expand. “No matter what happens, I am always with you,” the Tree said softly, “and you are always with me. It’s as sure as the air you breathe.”
“We are always together?” asked Evie. She was feeling better again.
“We are always together,” answered the Tree.
“Always,” Evie whispered as she leaned against the Tree.
“Always . . . and in all ways,” said the Tree as it held Evie closer to its heart.
Evie began to smile. “Then I guess I will have an adventure! I am off to explore another part of EVEN. I am off to visit Earth!”
“Then it’s decided,” nodded the Tree. “I am proud of you, my Evie. Not every apple in EVEN is as brave as you are right now.”
“Now then,” said the Tree of Life evenly, “there are some things you must know before you begin your journey.”
“I’m listening,” Evie said softly. She was feeling excited and sad inside, all at the very same time.
“I gave life to everything in EVEN,” said the Tree, “and I love all my creations equally. So although all my apples look different on the outside, they are exactly the same on the inside. Deep inside every apple is a heart, which you apples call your core. And inside every core are some seeds. They are called the Seeds of Remembrance. I put those seeds in your core to help you remember who you are—an apple created by the Tree of Life! Each seed helps you remember and understand. Each seed helps you stay connected to me and to all my other creations . . . Do you remember what you always sing, Evie?”
Evie nodded her head. As she began to sing, the Tree of Life sang along with her. “I am in the Tree, and the Tree is in me. We are One and the same. Just as the Tree holds me in its heart, I hold the Tree in mine. We are together forever and as far as I can see.”
Evie understood. “And the seeds in my core are what keep us connected . . . always . . . and in all ways.”
“That’s right, my love,” said the Tree. “You must remember what we are saying in this moment. And know that whenever you need me, no matter where you are, I am always with you. I am as close as your own heart. All you must do is remember.”