Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Unshadowed Land: I.The Marriage Feast

Once upon a time, there stood a small, white flower growing in the wilderness, shining like a single blot of colored ink on a great, grey page. The mountains stood around, containing her, oppressing at times, always watching. As she grew, her petals widened, she stood taller and more shapely, and the curve of her stalk grew proper and strong. Any man would have known in an instant to call her a Lily, but she being the only flower, the mountains called her Phos, for she was the brightest thing in the land. The mountains always used the language of the great race of men when naming a treasure - they had few to name, and the memory of that great adventurer, stolid and strong, the only creature ever to find their home, remained as does the first scene of a romance, slightly embellished, and taken as Gospel.

The grey land was clean, it held the sun like a great bowl, flat in the center - like the priest's paten. And in the center, shining like the moon, Lily was like a beacon, a great whiteness, a sign of peace. Like a bride, dressed in purity, robed in light, she stood. Alone.

For ages she had stood there, life so long - alone, there were none to teach her how to die, and the mountains hardly knew of any sort of death past the cool exfoliation of the winter's thaw. She lived, joyous and free, unbound by gardens, terraces, or beds, and danced in the wind, for the great chalice of the land caught the wind and held it, swirling. They held it for her, for they knew how she loved to dance, and the mountains were quick to do for her anything in their power.

"O, dear Phos, sing us a song," roared the mountains. The mountains could but chant, or rumble at best, but Lily's voice was lighter, floating on the rhythm just as she did on the wind. The mountains loved to hear her song, and she sang it gladly, and with passion, unreserved and trusting. She sang her soul, the joy of the water in her roots, her love of the land, of the company of the mountains. She praised the greatness of the gift of the sky, of the clouds, of the rains, and the great smoothness of the land, broken evenly by stones and crags, bent by nature and time. She sang and danced, freely and beautifully, gliding to and fro in voice and body upon the rhythm and breeze provided her by the mountains. Peace was vigorous and excited, and all were joined in the song, mountain range and lily as one. All were as they were and knew it, and they rested long after the dance, still full in this never-ending unity.

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