The old woman knelt by the little pile of dirt and patted it gently. Her hands were gnarled, but still strong. She grabbed the watering can resting near her left knee and gave the acorn she’d just buried a good soaking. She didn’t come back to the garden every day, but someone did, and soon a small green shoot worked its way out of the soil.
The old man tended the weeds around the tree carefully, ensuring that nothing would take precious resources away from its roots. The rains came not at all this time of year, and he couldn’t carry as much water from the creek as he used to.
The very old man and the very old woman stood near the tree. They’d nourished it with very nearly the last of their strength through these many years, and finally the tree was ready to blossom, the buds heavy and full of life. He took her hand in his and squeezed, lightly, trying to hold on long enough to see their gift to the world reach its culmination.
The extremely old woman and the exceptionally old man lay near the tree. Their chests rose and fell slowly, barely, and as the sun crested the hills, the buds opened. Within each one lay a babe, the first children seen since before anyone could remember. The sky filled with a chorus of cries, and though the two on the ground passed on, the tree brought life eternal back to the world.