I WAS AWARE OF MANY things surrounding me before I saw them. I was lying on a soft, cushy blanket of lamb’s ear petals, wafting their light, milky scent as their soft hairs caressed my face. Strands of golden sunlight weaved across me, gently warming my tired form. Water trickled nearby in a small fountain for washing and drinking in peace. A kind breeze played with my auburn hair and greeted me with the faint smell of…well, everything lovely. I finally forced my eyes open.
I sat up dreamily on my bed. The nonchalant waving of tree branches far above came and went in my window. My pack was perched precariously on the edge of my chair at my desk. Except it wasn’t my desk, or my chair, or my bed, or even my room. It wasn’t my house or my habit-tree, either. I was on one of the highest levels of Skyglass, our sacred healing place in the largest tree known to our kind. It was an elder tree planted in NeverSeen by the First Ones, after they were made by the Great One.
I could feel the life of that ancient tree pulsing through every fiber of wood inside of it, the life of everyone who was and ever would be there: children, elders, fathers, mothers. And Mom, finally resting and waiting with love for the baby to come. Love. It wrapped itself around me in the fair breeze pouring in, the branches stretching their way to the High Sky, and the fountain of water waiting to quench the thirst of the poor, tired faery that stayed there. It was the perfect environment for rest and recovery. It had been a long day.
I attempted to recall what had occurred in my day by sweeping away the fog covering the harbor of my memory. It faded in the sort of way that you don’t quite realize, until everything is crystal clear, and the water is smooth as glass as the little boat of the memory you desire to reexplore drifts closer to shore, and you peer inside to find the thing you seek.
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