Eve had moved on, whether to Heaven or to Hell, he did not know. All Adam knew was that he wasn’t eager to find out. As he lay dying, he called out to his son Seth.
“I wish to live a little longer.” He said.
“What would you have me do?” Seth asked.
“Go to Eden. Ask the angel guarding the gates of Paradise if I can come back if only for a little while so that I can become a young man once more.”
So, Seth set out to Eden and upon reaching there he made his father’s request. As he had feared all along, the request was denied. None who left Paradise could return without God’s wish. But when the angel heard that Adam was dying, he felt sad. He had known Adam, back in the days when Adam had lived in Paradise; long before Eve’s mistake. He handed Seth a small seed.
“Give this to him. Make him eat it. It is the same seed that came from the apple they once ate; plucked from the tree that grants wisdom and prolongs life. The seed will save your father.” Said the angel.
Seth bowed to the angel and left. The angel watched him leave and sighed. He knew he could not save Adam. He was beyond saving. But it was necessary for the seed to be planted on earth. It was a sign of divinity and one that would be useful in the future.
When Seth arrived at his father’s house, he was filled with sorrow. He had come too late and Adam was dead. Seth arranged for his father’s funeral and placed the seed he had received from the angel under his father’s tongue. Adam was buried in a high place.
Over the course of several years, a Tree began to grow over Adam’s grave. It was a tall tree with thick ebony black branches and leaves of red and orange. It was an unusual tree and so people were naturally curious to see it and insisted on having a part of it. People carried a piece of the tree around just for the sake of luck; or whatever they believed in. And the Tree never failed them.
Noah used a small branch of the Tree as part of the main door of his Ark. So even though the door sprung a leak during the time of the flood, it still held firm. Balqis, queen of Sheba, once walked on a bridge which had a part of the Tree. Moses’s rod used to part of the Tree’s trunk.
But as the angel at the gates of Paradise had known, its usefulness came much later, when a young carpenter in Jerusalem built a cradle entirely from the wood of the tree. His wife was annoyed that her precious child should have to sleep in a cradle made from such bleak wood. But the father insisted. To him the wood was fascinating. And the baby liked it too when he was placed in it. The baby’s life was intertwined with the Tree that grew from Adam. As the baby grew to become a man, the Tree remained with him. It became the plate from which he ate his food. It became the chalice from which he would drink his wine. It became the chair upon which he sat. The cot on which he slept. And the stick on which he leaned sometimes when he was too tired to walk.
In the end, the Tree helped the man rest, high up on a hill, away from the burdens of the world. His task was complete. His blood mixed with the wood of the tree as he felt the life ebbing away from him. The tree stood firm till he drew his last breath.
In three days, he awoke from his death and left for Heaven. With his passing, the Tree had fulfilled its purpose. It withered and died.
About the Author
Abhilash Jayachandra, writing under the pseudonym Noah Milas, is a part-time blogger and a freelance writer based in India, currently working at a prestigious Indian daily as a Copy Editor and Correspondent. After pursuing his masters in English Language and Culture Studies, he is currently working towards finishing and publishing his first novel.