Voices of Mount Olive, Spring 2019: Rachel McCullen, Magnolia Melody

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The cadence of rain on Magnolia leaves takes me through time. Each drop whispers secrets of lives long since finished, making their stories known in hopes of they will be remembered. The drops fall through layers of thick, glossy leaves, leaving behind a trail of their existence only until the sun reappears. 

Pale yellow light filters through the leaves in a mottled pattern. After the sun has chased the clouds full of rain away, the grass below is illuminated, showing me the secrets that have been hidden in dark corners for centuries. The secrets open doors to locked memories, bringing the world to a halt and sharing their memories in swirls of light and patterns on the ground. 

Thick, full branches hang over the earth, a canopy of lives and stories that have been seen and ignored for generations. They reach for someone to come and partake of the tales sheltered under heavy leaves. 

Full, white blossoms nestled among leaves, bringing bees and holding pieces of lives that flow on the wind along with pollen. The blossoms fall to the ground and there turn brown, decaying and taking with them the memories they held. 

The light slowly fades, turning the tree that holds impressions of lives so beautifully into a shadow of its daytime self. With one last gleam of red light on its leaves, it promises to return with more stories, tomorrow. 

Rachel McCullen, an English major and junior at the University of Mount Olive was born and raised right here in Mount Olive, N.C. She has been reading and writing her whole life and recently has begun her own blog (afarmgirlsfancy.wordpress.com). This is her first time being published.