Old Souls

...the cool blackness of the mesquite felt good. Several prickly pear pads had draped themselves over the mesquite trunk that bent toward the ground a bit before curving up. The prickly pear pads looked wrung out, as though they had been traveling a long distance and had finally succumbed to exhaustion and thirst. The cactus had found a good companion in the mesquite. Very grounded. Rooted. Mesquite had the deepest root system of any tree, Myla knew. Someone had once found a live mesquite root 160 feet beneath the surface, in a copper mine. Mesquite trees knew how to hold their ground. Old souls, she thought when she saw one like this, crouched toward the desert floor yet still reaching out to the world around it. —from Church of the Old Mermaids

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