……….It’s a swirl of fire and ice running over the plain, setting the pathway in flames, charring the land, turning the swinging, long-stemmed grass into soft, silver ash….it’s a pain so deep as high is the exhilarating lift of blazing feelings rushing through the same veins, the same heart, ravaging the same soul….it’s a wild blast of wind, shattering mirror after mirror, spreading bright shards of glass all over the place…..it’s dark yet flaming…..deep, deep…cutting, digging, seeping through every crack of the finely broken surface of the soul….unstoppable, bitter-sweet destruction….a point of no return…a mirror in the abyss….a labyrinth that hides a deadly secret………………………
She was standing in the middle of nowhere, lost and devoid of sense. Her spirit was broken and through the network of fine cracks, solitude and emptiness were slowly seeping in,demolishing her bit by bit. She could hardly stand against the winds and rains of running seasons. She was exhausted…Hollow and blind, expecting nothing but the moment of the final crumbling.
Then…something….someone?…touched her softly. Tentatively. She woke up with a tremor, gulping for air. Who is it? What was that? Where did that come from?! Silence…..Then, again, another touch. A small caress, something alive and fresh following her contours with eerie fingers. She sighed. It felt good….When the move stopped, she wanted to cry out, asking for more; but she had been silent for so long that she had lost her voice.Before she could try again, night fell from the skies, its heavy, cold cloak sending her plunging into the abyss of lonely dreams.
When the first rays of sunshine punctured the veil of mist, dawn swept away the darkness and life returned to its daily buzz. And the magic caress of the previous day turned into a lovingly conquering embrace, surrounding her, upholding her, supporting her crumbling parts and pieces, filling her with warmth and elation. It chased away the hollowness of her heart, it conquered and sealed all cracks and damages and she felt changed, alive and happy.
-Who are you?-she wanted to say but the words were ringing only inside her mind. I cannot see you….My eyes are empty….Don’t leave me, please! I’ve been alone so long!….
“Sssshhhht….” -came a soft whisper, reverberating in her soul. “ I’m here to stay forever!”
With a graceful move, Nature jumped in by the window and set herself comfortably inside the old house. Outside, under the sun, the vines of woodbine were climbing higher and higher, popping up glistening emerald leaves, covering the holes of the roof, setting hiding spaces for birds and bees. Nature stretched with a smile, lying on her fragrant bed of grass and wildflowers.
Surrounded by the continuous hum of bustling life, the house was dozing peacefully. She wasn’t empty and pointless anymore.
When we first met, I was having nothing inside but virgin lands under a baby blue dome of skies. I was oblivious of their existence. I had never opened their gates and never walked them. No feet had ever touched their surface.
You were the first explorer. Bold. Passionate. Crazy and wild. Flamboyant. Unstoppable. A hungry heart, reaching for the treasure of unreleased emotions and love, hidden in the depth of those intimate spaces. You grabbed my hand and taught me fly. You lead my steps through the landscape of my own soul, putting it in a new perspective. You left your prints everywhere and those lands inside have learned the gentleness of your touch, the softness of your purring voice, the joyfulness of your walk….They have embraced your body, memorizing its shape as we were lying in the grass, counting stars….
You left as sudden as you came. Without a warning, vanishing without a trace.Time stopped inside me. Your absence has carved deep ravines in the deserted lands, seeping inside the roots of the trees , bursting towards the skies through the trembling fingers of the branches. Pain bleached the skies, robbing them of their azure. Oh, the silent cry of the abandoned heart! The heaviness of the loss turned the dome above into solid rock.
Devoid of the light of love, the land was engulfed by mist. Nothing made sense anymore. The land lost its contours and only the skeletons of the trees were still standing. Prisoner of my own chagrin, I’ve turned into a shadow, walking aimlessly in a world of memories.
For days, the rosebud was preparing her great moment: the blooming. She has grown atop of a beautiful rosebush that was leaning against a solemn tree, in a peaceful corner of the vast garden. Her mother was constantly encouraging her, yet the young flower was full of doubts about her appearance.
She had checked tens of times her silky petals, her perfect inner swirl and the little bouquet of golden stamens, ready to spread their magic dust. All looked fine and in perfect order, yet the rosebud was not ready for the next step.
-My child, you’re beautiful, believe me!-her mother told her each day. Don’t wait too long or you’ll miss the chance…Your sisters are already prepared for opening. One more day and they will overshadow you!
-Yes, Mom. I know….I will be ready, you’ll see!
The Mother Rose sighed and shook her head; this little girl of her proved to be a peculiar one.
“Oh, well! Maybe tomorrow…”-she thought and spread her deep crimson collar of sweet scented petals. A bright colored butterfly landed gracefully on the crimson rim and seeped a pearl of dew, leaving behind a kiss.
-So what takes you so long? –asked the boisterous summer wind, playfully pinching the blushing rosebud. Your older sisters opened instantly under my touch.
-I…I’m not ready yet-whispered the rosebud, while her color turned a darker shade of red.
-Oh, you’re such a Diva!-laughed the wind and flew away, scattering a bunch of butterflies on his way.
The rosebud suppressed a small tear and hid behind her lustrous emerald leaf.
“I’ll be ready tomorrow….tomorrow…maybe…”-she repeated the chant in her mind.
She spent the day under the cover of the leaves, waiting for the cooling night. As the sun dropped behind the high trees, the night embraced the land, filling each and every corner with velvety darkness and soft sounds. The rosebud leaned against the tree, cuddling inside the cradle of leaves and fell asleep. Floating on the waves of dreams, she felt a light touch on her face.
-Hello, beautiful!-chirped a tiny, crystal clear voice. Are you sleeping?
The rosebud woke up and turned towards the source of the voice. It was a delicate firefly, sitting in her cupped leaf, all smile and sizzling light.
-I was following you for days-said the firefly, with a bow. I have hoped that you won’t open till tonight.
The rosebud was startled.
-Why were you waiting for me? What’s so special tonight?
The firefly jumped in the air with a sudden swoosh and his glow spread around like shooting stars. He flied in complicated rolls and tumbles in the air, closing and touching with the lucent tip the rosebud. She was mesmerized and watching his flickers and shimmers, she didn’t realize that her petals were slowly uncoiling, opening one by one, gradually releasing the fresh, fruity scent held in her core. The darkness of the garden filled with radiant, glowing, twinkling, floating fireflies…Even the Moon up in the skies was hiding behind a thin veil of clouds to leave the magic of this moment unfold.
Finally, the little firefly stopped on the leaf and looked at the rose.
-You are as beautiful as I have imagined! You are the most wonderful rose of the entire garden…
The rose blushed and spread her crown of crimson red. The little stamens popped and the soft rain of gold dust fell like a mist on the little firefly, dressing him in a magic cloak. He rose in the air, kissed the rose and delved into the night where his family and friends were waiting for him. Up, on the top of the gripping bush, the most beautiful rose was basking in the moonlight….
I saw you in the pile of withering leaves, squeezed between the thin, leathery crumbs of foliage. I saw your burning red plea, rising from the fragile, moist vegetal carpet, a last cry of life before this season of melancholy would end in the freezing arms of winter….
I saw you and in a heartbeat, you were in my hands, your blazing carmine tips still warm and alive, pulsing faintly in my palms, remembering the rhythm of the tree that had released you.
Now, you are sleeping your eternal dream between the pages of my book. But in my heart, you are still beating softly: tadam, tadam….in a symphony of red.
The Sun hopped over the row of hills guarding the shore and the light showered the sea, wiping off the last shadows of the night. The water was quietly rippling, gently touching the soft, silky sands.
It was a remote shore, calm and serene, one that offered the long sought intimacy to the romantic dreamers. In the fresh light of the morning, the row of footprints was glistening in the sand. They seemed to come from nowhere and they were ending just as abruptly….But the shore knew them well, just as she knew the one they belonged to. She gathered the nacreous grains around the imprints, holding them lovingly, shielding them from the boisterous wind or the curious fingers of the waves. She has already lost a few of those precious memories so she was hanging desperately to the last ones remained. She wasn’t ready to let him go…her poet…the young man with eyes full of stars that used to walk her sands and sit there, dreaming his wonderful dreams, writing with a finger his poems into her wet cheeks….He had become her daily guest and she had grown on loving him. Now he was gone and she felt lost and deserted. She was afraid that she might forget him, as wind and water were robbing her day by day from the last remembering imprints. The shore shivered from inside, rolling the tiny grains of sand…Oh, why was love so beautiful and painful altogether?
The sea kept rocking from side to side, leaving intricate laces of ephemeral foam on the rim of the shore. She was aware of the torment her friend was going through….She knew how love and loss can tear into the heart. Her deep, translucent one was carrying its own scars. She sent ahead a soft little wave and touched the shore…
“ Let him go, my dear…let him go….Let me ease your pain and I promise you that he will be remembered by the sound of my waves and the song of the wind…”
The wave rose and caressed the white sands, smoothing the surface, washing away the footprints…The echo of the shore’s last sobs died in the wind and the world regained its balance.