There was no sun that day and yet, all I can remember is light. It flowed from the cracks and wrinkles of the old trees that hummed as the wind rattled their limbs. A glow as bright as a million fireflies flooded the once barren earth. Small buds pushed up through the soil, blooming as the warm light spread and grew.
My breath caught in my throat. My body trembled and my heart raced along with the light, as if it knew the promise of new beginnings that it would bring.
If a color could be soft, that is what this glow was. The softest green. Gentle like a mother brushing her fingers along the plump cheek of her newborn for the first time. Warm like the sun embracing you after a cold night. And welcoming like an old married couple, their smile hiding the secrets to a blissful life that you think, maybe, just maybe, they’ll tell you about if you smile back. But it all paled in comparison to the woman who came next.
The birch seemed to split and widen but not in a way that makes you mourn the poor thing. No, nature bent and moved in such a way that made it look like it was ushering in someone both precious and necessary. So precious to the very fabric of reality that she was to be protected from the harshness of the world she was stepping into. And yet necessary to give way to her presence so she could stop the madness from gaining any further ground.
She walked with purpose; her feet bare as she glided across the light like it was a path meant just for her. And, perhaps, it was. And with each step, the light would ripple and shimmer till hundreds of butterflies emerged, flanking the woman like beautiful winged soldiers. The baby breath of yellow and the soft brush of green wings blended so well with the fabric of her dress that billowed in the wind that swirled around her like a dog, eager to play with its master.
How didn’t I notice that dress before? Or how the dull armor that hid her skin from torso to fingertips and nearly the full slender neck that held her head high still seemed fit for the woman I could only call Mother Nature. Only a mother could be so at home here among the trees. Only a mother would be so adored by her children the way she was by the butterflies still trailing her and the flowers sprouting up for a chance to be seen. And only a mother would be able to smile at those who rely on her as she raises a hand to admonish the one that threatens them.
She was a force of nature. A gentle force. A regal force. A force that, for the moment, was the purest thing. But I knew that force would soon turn into the monster we painted her to be. I knew that sword would call down lightning to strike her enemies. The wind that caressed her would soon howl and bite as their commander fought to protect. The butterflies would shed their beauty and transform into a swarm of locusts.
Or, maybe, she’d fight as beautifully as she was now… Maybe the ones coming would see her as I did and remember what it is to be human. Maybe, just maybe, she will simply purify the world before entrusting it to us once more.
© Maura D., marsreine.wordpress.com, 2017-2019