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A strong wind sends the samara seed on a journey to find her new home

When the wind began to blow, the whole world seemed to be angled in the exact same way, swaying in the same gentle pattern. The clouds traveled across the gray sky, the branches of the trees bending and creaking as they were pulled to the side. Leaves and vibrant flower petals swirled through the air. In between it all, a single samara seed was carried along, floating on its light-pink wings.

The grass was damp and green, covered in bugs clinging to each blade for their lives, trying to escape the strong pull of the wind. The samara watched them; it had learned to allow the wind to carry it.

I am so much smarter than those foolish bugs, it thought as it drifted by.

The samara eventually lost sight of the cluster of maple trees it came from. Now it was time to wait and see where it would land once the wind died down. Eventually, it glided over a farmer frantically pulling his cows every which way as the cold rain soaked their shivering bodies. The samara hadn’t seen many cows before.

I must be very far from home now, it thought to itself as the cows faded out of view.

Not much later, the samara reached a rickety wooden play structure. The children had abandoned it, but the wind still made the swing set rock back and forth, its rusty chains rattling like a quarter in a tin can. The samara hadn’t ever seen children on a play structure before— it had only seen them climbing trees, or sitting with their backs pressed against the bark of a tree as they read a book.

I must be miles from home now, the samara thought as it left the play structure behind.

The Temple of Many Towers

Soon after, the samara saw a beautiful cottage ahead. It had a thatched roof and was surrounded by colorful flowers and had vegetables growing in its garden. The old windows were bolted shut in an attempt to keep the draft out. Even from all the way up in the sky the samara could hear the faint whistling of a hot teapot coming from inside the house. The samara gazed at the strange plants around the house; it hadn’t seen so many different kinds of plants in one place before.

I wonder if any other seed has traveled this far before, it thought. At first this whole adventure had been exciting, but now the samara was scared. Would it ever find a home? Would the storm ever stop?

Eventually the whistling was gone and the cottage was out of sight, just in time for the samara to spot a campground with men quickly carrying supplies inside tents and putting covers over the firewood to keep it dry. The only experience the samara had had with fire was seeing a thick plume of smoke rising from over the trees when it still lived in the grove of maple trees.

Could this be the source of the smoke? the samara thought. No, that’s impossible. This campground is probably thousands of miles away. It must be a different one.

The samara came to a small village with uneven cobblestone streets that was surrounded by trees. People were ripping the clothes off the lines that hung between the rows of houses and shops. The air was filled with cloaks, shirts, scarves, and pants that had escaped and now joined the samara on its journey over the countryside. The samara had not seen many people dressed like the people who dashed up and down the slippery streets.

Maybe I’m out of the country. I wonder if they still speak my language here.

The samara traveled over the outskirts of the bustling village, where all the small and secluded huts sat. It saw the old stables that housed beautiful and majestic horses. The horses neighed and stomped their heavy feet inside their stalls. The samara was glad it hadn’t landed here; the smell of horse dung was overpowering.

I pity whatever seed has the misfortune of landing here.

When it came to the center of town, the samara could now see inside the large windows. Some people sat in tea shops sipping steaming mugs of tea to warm their bodies. Some were examining products from inside the store that sat in display cases, ignoring the wide eyes of the curious window-shoppers who had their faces pressed against the glass. Others were sprinting home from work with a book or coat held over their heads.

What a waste of books. Where the samara came from, books were rare and treasured items. This foreign country must be very wealthy, it thought.

I’ve landed so far from home. What if this new life is too hard? What if I’m not ready to land?

The samara looked over the town, not realizing it was slowing down. The heavy drops of rain became smaller and less frequent until they had disappeared completely. The samara found its gentle path through the sky turning into a fast spiraling motion as the ground came closer and closer. It arrived at the other end of town, where there was grass and space to grow, just in time. The samara found itself losing the feeling of weightlessness as it slowly descended.

It looked around. I’ve landed so far from home. What if this new life is too hard? What if I’m not ready to land? But there was nothing it could do now. The wind, which before had been violent and unforgiving, gently carried the samara onto the grass, carefully placing it in the perfect spot. The samara felt the soft, cool grass welcome it.

Many years later . . .

It was finally the morning—the morning, when the pale sun rose over the maple tree that had finally grown over the village wall. The maple tree looked out over the countryside. It could finally see all the way to the other side of the village, over to the campground, the quaint cottage, the play structure, and the familiar cluster of maples that had once been home, not too far from where the maple tree stood.