Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The dying embers were all around, yet through the ashes I alone remained unchanged.
Newly born chicks were rising from their own ashes, squawking for my attention.
How tiring it was, to remain the same whilst others shed their old lives for a fresh start. The second chance was to be denied to me this season. I would have to ignore that simmering within my bones, the flames that yearned to consume all my gathered knowledge and experience.
No. My duty now was to flit through the ashes, to absorb all that the dying lives had released. All of their experiences, their joys and sorrows, all that these new chicks had forgotten were being drawn into myself.
I was to safeguard it all.
The memories of every past life, and the new lives that were just begun.
I was now the rising phoenix, the ever burning fire of my flock.
The lives of all the flock rested within my wings. Their future was entrusted to me. I would teach them their history, along with all that they would need to know about this world.
Should I fail, this generation could prove a dark one. Succeed, and the flock would prosper.
There was so much possibility with this new beginning, such opportunity for growth.
This was my turn to lead, and my first duty was to care for the chicks.
They had chosen me as their leader for this season, and I would not fail them.
Phoenix lives were long, as were their memories that were now gathered in my mind.
Drawing upon those memories, I gathered the chicks together.
With their bright young eyes focusing on me, I spoke of the new beginnings that awaited them.
For they were phoenixes, and had been given another chance to live.
And as I scanned the young faces of my flock, I wondered how they would use this new beginning.
Friday, December 26, 2014
1. Something new has caught your attention.
2. You encounter an old friend.
3.You can't stop thinking about a great book that you're in the middle of.
4. You've just began a new project.
5. You're at the end of a project.
6. Someone interrupted you while you were in the middle of working.
7. You're just so excited about something else.
8. You didn't get enough sleep.
9. You're hungry.
10. You've gotten sick.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Gathered around, the family exchanges gifts. Each gift had been given careful thought as to the person it would go to, and that forethought was rewarded by the happy faces of the recipients.
After the gifts were all opened, the family shared stories of times past as the children played with their new toys. The mood in the room was one of contentment, of the peace that comes from good company.
The family was gathered to celebrate, and celebrate they did.
In the simple deeds, the kind words.
The laughter of children, and the smiling eyes of the adults.
Each word and deed gave witness to that special time of the year. That time of year when families gather together, when carols are sung, and when strangers work together to bring to others the joy that they feel.
For some, these celebrations would cease at the end of the day. For others, till the month's end.
But for some, the happiness and love felt at this season will continue on, throughout the coming year.
For them, peace, hope, and joy are not limited to a single day in December.
Because the spirit of Christmas flows through every day of the year, for all those who remember the life of the babe born in Bethlehem.
Friday, December 19, 2014
1. To show that you were thinking about another.
2. To be kind.
3. To bring a smile to someone's face.
4. To help another.
5. As a way to share your talents.
6. To show that you would like to be friends.
7. To thank someone.
8. To show that you remember that this day is important to them.
9. Because you felt like sharing.
10. To show your love.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The road was wet.
Rain fell in a pitter-patter against the concrete, only to be splashed to and fro as people hurried about beneath their umbrellas.
The sky was a muted gray, while the trees in the park shown a brilliant green as they drank in the moisture.
The chill air held a slight burn as it was breathed in, and it became visible as a little cloud upon release.
The day was cold, while within the various buildings, the warmth of a heater beckoned for all to enter. From one place to another people scurried, making last minute preparations for the holiday celebrations they had planned.
Night seemed to arrive quickly at this time, the daylight fleeing far too soon and making some long for warm summer afternoons.
As the stars twinkled above, the temperature dropped further as the night dragged on. In their homes, people gathered around fireplaces, and nestled snugly underneath quilts.
When morning dawned, leaving the warmth of home to trudge through the cold day was not appealing, especially when there were hints that some were catching the flu.
But for those who were able, the journey of the day began yet again.
Only this time, no rain accompanied the people on their wintry walk.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The quiet growl of waves leaping onto the sandy shore and then slipping back into the sea was the second thing I noticed upon waking. The grit caking every inch of my aching form was third on the list.
The first was a familiar companion that I never seemed able to escape: fatigue.
Shifting, I managed to sit up and look out at the ocean. Memories flashed through my mind; falling into the waves, losing sight of the cliffs, and finally being caught up in some great storm.
Yet somehow, I had been brought back to the shore. Completely aching and without anything but my coyote tooth necklace, but at least I was alive.
Turning away from the ocean, I shakily stood. At the edge of the beach, strange trees loomed. Tall and narrow, the smooth bark was a greenish-brown. Drawing closer, it became obvious that this strange tree was common to this area, and a quiver that had nothing to do with hunger rumbled in my stomach.
Moving through the trees, I searched for fresh water. The strength of my thirst seemed made me wonder just how long I'd been caught in that storm.
Without my tools, I would have to rely on my wits and the magics I'd been born with. Finding a suitable patch of ground, I knelt and pressed my hand to the dirt.
Fresh water. Picturing streams, clear pools, and serene lakes, my magic trickled through the earth in all directions, seeking guidance from the foliage in finding a source of the precious liquid.
Outsider. The response caused my magic to recoil as the strange trees surrounding me shuddered as one, and some dead limbs thudded to the ground near me. Unnatural magic. Begone.
The dirt beneath my hand burned, and I jerked free of it with a gasp.
I'd been rejected!
Certainly some places had taken longer to respond to my pleas, but my magic had never been so violently rejected before. This magic was common everywhere I'd been, so why would it be rejected?
Getting to my feet, I studied one of the fallen limbs. Placing my hand over it, my voice was a dry rasp as I coaxed staff from the wood.
Although a staff did emerge from the larger piece of wood, strange veins of amber and blue ran through the entirety of the staff. But it fit my hand well, and gave me something to lean on.
Even with the staff, I was ready to collapse by the time I found a stream. Pebbles bit into my aching legs as I knelt and greedily drank, scarcely noticing the unusual taste beneath the refreshing chill of the liquid.
A twittering call from the other side of the stream caught my attention, and I looked up and stiffened.
A blue skinned creature floated above the ground on wings like a damselfly. Though it had a form like that of a women, it could not be human.
The creature's lips moved, releasing a sound like that of a bird. Then it frowned, and the sound changed to something more like speech, yet oddly crisp.
I shook my head. This creature was like nothing I had ever heard of, and matched none of the magical creatures that I had heard of or seen. "I don't know what you are."
The creature recoiled, black eyes narrowing as she studied me. Speaking this time in a tone that dripped like sap, she motioned at me.
Again I shook my head. "I don't understand you."
Tilting her head, the creature clucked her tongue and floated closer.
My hand shifted toward my staff. I wasn't sure if this creature was dangerous. "I don't want any trouble."
The creatures eyes flickered to my staff, and the creature seemed to freeze for a moment. Then she broke in to such a rapid chattering of birdlike sounds that I held up my hand to show her they were empty.
"Now, now, I'm not going to pick up my staff, okay?"
The creature pursed her lips, then pointed at herself and gave a low chirp. I frown, and she repeated the gesture and sound.
"Is that your... name?" I asked as she gave the chirp a third time. Concentrating, I attempted to repeat the sound and motioned toward her.
The creature clapped her hands and warbled some more birdcalls. "I'll take that as a yes." I said as she quieted. Motioning again at herself, she gave the chirp again, then motioned to me. "Me?" Taking a deep breath, I pointed at myself. "Ezhno."
The creature floated a little closer, frowning slightly. I pointed again. "Ezhno."
"Ezhno." She spoke soft and slow, as if my name was a food she had never before tasted.
And at last, I realized that might be true.
I'd been carried out into the ocean, and caught up by a storm. Having finally been washed ashore, it was possible that it might not have been in my own land.
As the blue skinned creature twittered in her bird language, I wondered just how far from home I was.
Friday, December 5, 2014
2. Unfrosted brownies.
3. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
4. Pecan pie.
5. Walnut ice cream.
6. Chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven.
7. Zeppoli dipped in chocolate.
8. Fried ice cream.
9. Chocolate covered popcorn.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
It began slowly, a little tingling in the mouth as he chewed.
It seeped into his throat when he swallowed, and the tingling grew to a mild ache.
Then with only a short breath, that mild ache exploded into a fierce burn.
The cookie fell from the little boy's hand as he darted away from the plate by the fireplace and into the kitchen, in search for something to cool the flames that filled his mouth.
Scales scraped against stone as a young dragon shifted to gaze after his friend. Then returning his attention to the treats, the dragon plucked another cookie from the plate and plopping it into his mouth with a hiss of delight.
Unfortunately for the dragon, that was last time the boy invited him to bring the snacks for their weekly playdate, as apparently winter fire cookies were not good for humans.