Can a Myth Become True
There is a tale dating back to the time of Adam and Eve. It’s not one you'll find in the Bible, but the Philistines spoke the tale for generations how, on a warm spring day a green leaf would turn red as apples which told the various tribes the summer would be extremely hot.
As centuries passed, this tale was told in a separate way by the Greeks that if you witnessed a leaf turning orange to almost a rusty gold color; someone close in your family would die before the first flakes of winter hit the ground.
Many tales, or myths, were told even by the Chinese that if you saw a leaf change to any color, it would bring prosperity to your family, but if the leaf turned red, devastation would befall a neighbor.
Perhaps, the best myth I have ever heard came from an old man on a street corner, panhandling for whatever he could get. He said, “Ya wanna know something, mister?”
“What,” said I.
“For a dollar, I have something good to tell you.”
I smiled, figuring this was his way to make a quick dollar and had nothing of import to make me go, ‘wow, simply amazing’ and then I would walk away knowing he just made a buck on something that wasn’t true.
“Okay, I’ll bite. Tell me.”
He bent over and picked up a small box and opened it.
“You see this here leaf? It’s green, ain’t it?”
“Well, mister, I’ve had this leaf with me for more’n three-hundred years and it’s never changed color, and truth is, I’ll never die. This here leaf is my good luck charm and even though I look poor and a mess to most folks, I’m the luckiest person on the planet. I’ve seen and done things that would make your hair stand on end. And you want to know where I found it?”
I smiled. “Where?”
“Found it where the Garden of Eden is where. And the funny part was it was the only leaf on this here one tree. What’s even more interesting is, I heard a voice whispering inside my head that said, go on, take it, you’ll live forever. It was the voice of Jesus.”
Well, I gave the old man his dollar and walked away. Helluva story. No one lives forever, right? Just another twist on the fountain of youth myth. Another story that belongs in a creepy movie. Just then, he ran up, grabbed my arm, and spun me around.
You don’t believe me, do you? DO YOU! I’ll tell you what then. Come back to this same spot twenty years from now and I’ll prove it to you."
And this is where this ends because twenty years later I did exactly that. He wasn’t there. I knew all along he wouldn’t be, but I came regardless. Call it curiosity, or a small part of me wanted to believe the old man would be there.
Just one odd thing though. The box was there on the cement sidewalk with a green leaf inside.