He got it.
The sprout bristled. It shivered. It seemed to grow. It grew.
He got it!
Branch watched in marvel. It was the first time he had gotten the growing to work for him. The moving, that was easy, but the growing. He smiled. A big smile. It stretched for his ears and crinkled his already wrinkled brow. He had been working for this moment for years, really, his whole life.
Branch sat back, and let out a breath, not just touched with relief, but bristling with excitement, adorned with anticipation, it dripped with a sense of accomplish. A small wind blew through the grove he was nestled in.
The grove was set in a ravine, like a bowl cut from the land, it was a secret place. A waterfall found itself on the northern edge of the grove, it tumbled playfully down the rocky slope. The small stream that led from a pool of water that gathered at the foot of the fall, flowed slowly beneath a massive tree. Its roots spread out over the small stream, as though it had -over the years- grown out of the wandering way of the water. Branch had been coming here for years.
His mentor, Trent, had shown him this small hidden enclave, it was a place of magic sprouting. One of the small places of true magic left in the world, where it leaked from the world. He had sworn to only show his apprentice the grove, if he ever took one. Too few were these places, if word spread, it would be the end of the glade. It would be cultivated and contained, set to be preserved. It is against the nature of true magics, to be trapped, held in state.
No, Trent had told him, ‘Magic, like man, wants to be free, it yearns to grow and shape the world. It wants!’ He had always emphasized that magic had a will, a presence or awareness.
Branch would have loved to show Trent that he had learned the growing. Years had passed since he had last seen him though. Branch wondered whether he lives or not.
He looked back to the sprout, rather, he looked into it. It grew, he had placed the growing well. That was the thing, you could get the growing without really getting it. Anyone could place a growth on nearly anything -if you knew how- but that did not mean it would grow. Usually, it led to quick disintegration. Actually. Every time, for centuries, besides a few master’s, it led to a crumbling and caving of the growth. Sometimes even death to both involved, it was a danger of the growing, the dying.
He breathed deep, slowly, calming himself. He focused onto the growing sprout, and found the small spot, the place to put the growing. It shivered and grew further, showing itself to be a raspberry sprout. The plant continued to shape itself, growing toward where it always sought to be, a full bush, flowered then fruited.
Branch fought to retain his concentration, forcing his excitement to the wayside. If he let it run wild, take over, his whole growing seed would shrivel and die, he could feel it.
His thoughts flowed into calm. He could feel the slow settling air that found its way into the enclosure, it fell around him softly, playing in the wind and between slightly swaying branches and leaves. That was part of the concentration, to feel the world around him, to set himself within it, his presence and thoughts were in everything around him. Almost as if he was somehow in-between everything, that was how the growing worked. With the moving, you were apart. But growing, you had to become a piece of what you wished to grow, then leave without tearing away. That was really where the breaking happened, that was another one, the breaking, easiest, messiest and least skillful of the magics.