Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Far Wilderness

My day of excitement draws to a close, a rather mundane experience as it turns out. The world of night settles in against the Sirris, my back up against the mountains as my view extends yet again across the fields and plains of the Far Wilderness. An interesting name, my people have given this. It is said long ago when Sheimas came to these lands, these three valleys they now call home, they could have chosen a different path. The valleys of the Chrystum were nurturing and protective, their spires sentinels against the outside world. The view from atop the tallest of the tall, Mount Khourne was an expanse eastward into the unknown; a far wilderness.

I reflect back on the one word, Khourne. It is nearly magical to my people. I rest my back against the dirt of the mountain that juts skyward above me. It is tall yet pales in comparison to that mountain that calls to nearly all who are Sheima. Its spire towers above all else, dwarfing those who shall challenge its summit. Someday I would like to challenge its heights, but that will come at a time of my choosing. I am but a babe in the woods.

The sky above blackens as the sun falls below the Western Sea on the other side of my world. The rains I braced for scampered to the east along with the high clouds that held them, blown by the uppermost winds that trail from the nostrils of the gods. The dampness I feel from them however sends shivers deep into my bones. Would that Clarisa would stoke the small fire before me with the warmth of her hearth. That thought alone brings a smile to my lips. The rock against me feels not like the sturdy chair beneath me a day ago.

Night settles in and a new day will be on the horizon.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

High Song Pass

The morning sun has long since passed, its light swallowed by the blackening sky. I feel the chill breeze as it snakes through the mountain passes to my right. The gathering clouds signal a storm chasing its way across the upper reaches of the Dream Valley.

Such a sight I recall from years ago, my first visit upon the heights of High Song Pass. The memory still stirs my soul as for the first time, I put behind me the mundane farmer's fields of the Middle Valley of the Chrystum. Before me lay the valley that truly holds the beauty of my lands; the Dream Valley. I stood that day on the precipice that began my journey of self-discovery. The endless lands of summer that day took hold of my heart and pierced my soul. Had I not discovered the scenic beauty that day, I would likely not walk the paths before me now.

The wilderness to my left, though scenic holds not the untouched timelessness of the Dream Valley, a land held near sacred in the lore of my peoples. It is the last vestige of what we were, of what it means to be Sheima. My first night, my own dreams touched the lore of that landscape as its world unfolded to me in my sleep; truly a dreamland.

I take in the peaks before me and may only imagine their views into that valley. Though beauty is fleeting, none could hold the mesmerizing quality of the lands below High Song Pass. It shall ever be emblazoned in my memories.

The wind whips down upon me through a cleft between the mountains and I pull my cloak up tight about me. I feel the first drops of the coming rains. I now wish for one more day in my friend's cottage. It is not to be. I must look ahead; only ahead.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Past the threshold

Breakfast now finished, I offer my services yet am again, politely rebuffed. The more I linger, the more I feel the pull of their cottage wanting to keep me from my journey, but my journey I must now renew. I feel the warmth of the hearth which kept away the damp airs as the night's storm traveled through. I feel the warmth also of the home itself and those who took me in, offering a stranger, kindness. One last time I walk to the stone hearth and reach for my pack and cloak.

"I have enjoyed your company, Mr. Clancy."

"As have I, yours, Clarisa." I hear the softness of her words and the gentleness of her heart. I long to stay, but that is not an option.

"Where will you travel too?"

"I have no particular direction in mind, Reenie." I wrap my cloak around my shoulders and hike my pack  upon my back. In my mind, I know I will miss this place.

"The Valley of Rivers is passage north along the coast. Should you travel in that direction, you will find it both challenging and worthwhile."

Reenie slips into his chair as he stares into the dying fire, the flickering embers revealing the wrinkles hidden within his face. It is a hard life he has led. Or is it simply a life that is passing? We shall all face that time when we have fewer years ahead of us than behind. I reach to lay a hand on his shoulder but pull it back. He has given of himself and his home this night and I am grateful for the respite. It is time I find my way along.

As she walks me to the door, I find myself ready to travel. An hour past, I would not have said the same, yet now that threshold is no longer a barrier. She lays her hand upon my arm and smiles, her warmth sending me into the world again with renewed vigor. I watch as the sun climbs to meet the growing clouds as the western winds push against the eastern sky.

South. I shall go south.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Window on the world

The storm that has rolled up against the back of the Sirris does little to keep me awake. A time or two I'm stirred by the light of the heavens, though I quickly slip back into my unconscious world. The morning light now fills my space as dawn has broken the surface of the world. The first beams of the new day wash across my face and I feel its warmth upon my skin. As I roll, I see the flames crackling brightly. Tis the mark of a sturdy hearth to keep its charge alight.

As I rise I feel refreshed with the coming of the morning. My window to the new day is filled with scenes from my own memories. The fields are awash with golden hues from the rising sun. A gentle breeze sweeps softly above the towering crops as they sway beneath its touch. The clouds above creep closer to the horizon, pushed by the breeze from behind the mountains. It is a beautiful day to behold, though like the crops soon to fall to the scythe, the darkening clouds will surely snuff the glory I behold.

A whisper turns me, my attention now taken from the new day. She is there, her cloak tightly snugged about her. She is radiant in her own way even in the morning hours, her smile soft and comfortable. I have never felt so welcome in all my years.

"Good morning, Clancy."

I nod, a gentle smile upon my lips. I take a deep breath, realizing my time in this place is nearly over. I look again as the sun creeps above the plains, the morning shadows shortening with each passing minute. I turn again and already her work has begun as the sounds of the kitchen come alive. Another day starts and her routines begin anew. I peer out the window one final time as it calls to me, a new day and a new step in my journey as I wonder what my day will hold.