There are a number of stories that I haven’t managed to finish, as regular readers of the Tale are well aware. At the same time, there are stories that pop into my thoughts from time to time which aren’t written down or perhaps they are started, but seem not to get anywhere in particular. Sometimes there are weeks where I find myself sitting at the keyboard, my mind going in circles, trying to think of something to write. At times like these, perhaps the story isn’t the one I’d have liked to share …
But perhaps that’s not as important as finding the words themselves.
The weather in the Realm had started to turn ever so slightly of late. The warm summer breezes weren’t quite so warm over the last little while. It wasn’t the time of snow, of tail cozies and cozying up, seeking warmth of various kinds … in various ways. It was that in-between time of fall, where there still were moments of warm sunny days among the chillier nights. While not so cold as to be concerning, the chill of the night was enough to bring about the gathering of wood for fireplaces, the baking of comfort foods, and—if there was a moment to allow the thought—reflection upon the past while sipping a mug, or more, of some delicious and warm beverage.
Tera dearly enjoyed this time of year. It was the time of in-between moments before the season of celebration. It was the time she spent gathering yarn, in a way, though she’d never say that sort of thing to Lil—perish the thought! Stepping on the toes of the one who knit the most amazing tail cozies was not a good plan at all.
The gathering of yarn for Tera was something a bit different and reflective of herself. On this particular evening, just after the sun had set over the Realm, the street lamps flickering into light and the first wisps of smoke beginning to rise from chimneys here and there, the Queen of the Realm was settled onto her front porch. The windows were slightly fogged over; whether that be from the hot chocolate she cradled in her hands or the heat from her body snugged in her signature fuzzy red sweater was anyone’s guess. Curling her legs beneath her, she gazed out onto the sidewalks and paths which passed on the outer limits of her home. The hint of smoke in the air spoke of her Eternal stoking the fireplace for the evening, and a smile teased her lips as she took another sip of her beverage.
The equinox came this year in the middle of the night. As she thought about that, it seemed like the summer stole away under the cover of night while the fall came in the same way. A deep breath of contemplation was followed by a long sigh of air escaping her. The mug found itself set upon a nearby table, the hand that had caressed it now being used to rest the weariness of a Queen as she turned herself towards things to be thought about.
The fall marked things to look forwards to: the promise of better things to be shared by all in her Realm; the hope she’d been holding for so very long, not quite saying out loud, but nonetheless, knowing that perhaps there was one that heard her. Still, she was tired. Much had changed over the past year, and the Queen hadn’t found all that much in those changes to smile about.
There was some melancholy in her thoughts of late. It wasn’t crippling, not by any means, but it weighed upon her. Tera being Tera, of course, would smile, promise that she was fine, and then focus her so-green eyes and the conversation towards the one asking. It was her way, it always would be. She’d be fine; her loved ones all came well before herself and that was, she believed, simply how things were meant to be.
The thing about melancholy wasn’t the dipping of her tail, or the wan smile that appeared in the moments when she thought none else would see. Those were the physical manifestations of her mood, her concern. The evening talk at the fence with her heart always brought the return of that mischievous smile, the shimmering of so-green eyes. The sharing of tea or hot chocolate was a comfort which brought the time spent talking about … whatever they talked about. There wasn’t an agenda nor a need of structure. Goddess had managed to work her magic and drawn them together. She created the place called the fence, pushed aside the realities in-between. It existed for the sake of need and, when it mattered most, something far more that couldn’t be put into words.
Across the lawn, on the other side of the fence, she noted the opening of a door, the warm light within bringing into focus her heart as he made his way to the fence. Turning on her own porch light, she knew he’d see her own form there, making her way down the stairs and out the porch door, it swinging closed behind her.
The path to the fence didn’t need lights on either side; they both knew their way well. But, as they reached the edge of the light from each of their homes, something happened which came but on the equinox. From elsewhere, somehow, little beacons of light drifted upon the wind from the first nearby. Fireflies rose up from their hiding places, taking wing to the air. It was almost like the stars themselves had come closer, to gather about the fence, an audience to hold witness to the renewal of something special. The equinox marked the point in time and space of the beginnings of the fence and all that came from that first moment where a heart and a Dear One said their first hello, made the connection that time or space could never wear away.
The glow of the fireflies made the fence shimmer, a ribbon of material polished to a sheen that spooled the light across it as they met once more. A mug of hot chocolate was offered from one, the other provided a pastry in return. The fence held them both comfortably as they spoke, sharing thoughts, laughter, hopes and, sometimes, the tears that came along for the moment shared. Something else came along as well, something the two sharing the fence couldn’t help but marvel over.
The light about them wasn’t the only light to be found. In the moment created, the light within renewed itself, warmed them, gave promise and hope. The fence was the physical, but there was the spiritual, as well, that came to the fore, that brought something to remind the melancholy that it was not for always.
The fall would come and go, the seasons would change. But there was also the eternity of the soul, the warmth of family, the expression of simply being in the moment. The things that mattered appeared in the fall, and passing things could never completely obscure them.