They ask me every day what I do when I come into this room of mine and sit beside the window. The answer is beyond simple but the knowledge that comes with it could be devastating in the hands of one easily confused. So I will tell you, a book, words between covers and you will be the secret keeper.
I have lived a thousand thousand lives within these five walls. My room here, a hexagon between two long hallways, is the portal to everywhere, all I have to do is let my mind wander through the glass wall facing east and I am away. I will tell you one of my lives, then maybe you’ll find that you understand. I walk into my room every morning and I sit on my same chair — it’s a old and dear thing, straight backed and cushioned, I think it was once a light pink but now it’s more of a soft cream and there are so many tiny tares from wear that you might almost think it were fuzzy from the bits of stuffing peaking through. I sit cross legged in it while it stands erect and solid. My chair never gives any, it is stuffed so tight and the back is so straight and it’s hardwood legs push into the floor as if it might fly away if it stopped holding on, and I feel it’s remorse at my improper seating etiquette, however, I could never travel sitting as it requests for me to, I know that I would go numb all over as I let my mind wander. I always bring in a cup of peppermint tea to sit beside me and grow cold as I lose myself to the story.
I came in yesterday to the same mostly empty room, I sat my tea on the rickety little table and climbed onto my chair, crossed my legs, and looked out into the wooded world. Oh to be born again into this morning! Off I go. Eyes wide open I clambered into a thicket I’d never yet met. There around me were long thin reeds of thorns and leaves as round and wide as my own head. At my bare feet, barely visible, I found a path of rocks, mostly covered now by moss and dirt, and here and there a purple flower peeked between leaves of lemon green. I could see between the foliage that I stood on a hill crest, behind me there were signs of cutting into the hill where someone had once so carefully chosen and carved out a roadway now covered in the very thistles and briars I was standing amongst, when I look away from the hill I saw a green tiled roof down near the bottom. I found myself holding a short sword and an umbrella, I tucked the umbrella into my belt and took the sword to the briars. Careful to follow the path, I started to cut side to side and follow the path towards the roof near the bottom of the hill. It felt like hours and hours and hours passed before I found any sign of the roof again. I saw a small house it is cream and the roof is dark wood painted green. The paint on the home was cracking and there were holes where roofing tiles have seemed to fall away. The air smelled slightly like old water and cold fish and something else I couldn’t quite place. The house had a pathway leading off of the original stone trail, and around it there was a fence made of thin white tree branches which somehow still blossomed golden leafs and a few red from their ends. I was enchanted.
I put away my little sword and I took the same deep breath I always take, the water and the fish filled my senses and I took my first step off of the old carved road and onto the small pathway lined with mother of pearl shells which would lead to the tiny home. At that moment a warm and strong wind rushed around me whipping my face. I felt the wind push into my lungs and try and steal my own breath to join in it’s dance. I closed my mouth around the air and felt it flood my body with warmth and light. It lifted me into the air so that my toes barely touched the ground where I walked, and just so, on the very edge of my toes I floated toward the white gateway. I touched the leaver that held the gate closed, it lifted and the gate blew backwards leaving a shower of golden leaves marking it’s swooping motion, the red leaves flew into the air and stuck there forming an archway and through it I walked.
The moment I stepped through the crimson arch I saw a hand reach out to me and attached to it followed the form of a woman, pale as a rain-cloud after it has dropped its heavy burden. She had a mouth the exact red as the leaves I had just walked through and her hair was the gold of the leaves strewn beneath us, her eyes were a well-water grey and I felt her as much as I saw her, terrified and confident all at once, I reached out and accepted her hand. As soon as I touched her, my feet found the ground again, though the magic of the summer wind inside of my was not at all diminished. I found myself to be quite small compared to the woman before me, and I felt her winter eyes push through me “Where do you come from and where are you going” she asked me without moving her mouth. “I am a wanderer” I responded without fear, for though she was new to me, I am not the least bit unaccustomed to strange persons entering my morning dreams, “I haven’t a clue as to where I will land. My name is Lilia and I came from the Ridge.”
“Lilia” she said my name, her eyes squinting as if she were trying to remember some distant memory and then opening up as she smiled brightly, “yes” said she “we’ve been expecting you for some time now.” At this moment my heart did lurch a little bit, never before have I been known to such strangers. “Come inside” she invited me and let go of my hand, as soon as she lost grip I was floating an inch above ground again, I stepped forward and found that I could glide along upon a pathway of wind as easily as if it were solid ground. “Is this — walking — normal?” I asked the woman, she turned and smiled again, her smile was simple, close lipped and sweet, I wondered if her mouth could open at all. “You should become accustomed to it” I heard her say “but do not expect to see others — walking, did you call it — In the same fashion.” I chose to accept that answer for the time and moved again towards the tiny home. The porch was simple, only a few feet wide and what I’d at first thought to be a solid door, simply turned out to be a hole with a green wall behind it. We glided through the door and I looked down. The floor of the cottage was made of the same white branches as the fence outside, they sprouted golden leaves alone. I bent down to touch one and the leaf wrapped itself around my finger, and let go of its branch. I watched it move over my skin as if it were swimming through a current in a river and it came to rest on the soft side of my forearm, I felt a deep warmth where the leaf pressed in and smelled deep spices and baking sugar. I ran my hand over the leaf but it felt just like my arm normally would. I looked up and the woman met my eyes right away. “You have been marked” she informed me “I thought you would be.” She bent down and lifted up the sheath that covered her from head to toe and showed me her foot, it was smaller than most feet, but elegant, and around the arch and over the top was stamped a golden leaf. “Follow me” she said, quietly now, “we have been waiting for you.” I followed her into an open room, the walls were made completely of mother of pearl and tiny mirrors, there was a window in the ceiling and one on three of the four walls, the shells and the mirrors bounced light back and forth. The ceiling, though looking like moldy wood from the outside, was made of the white branches and covered in crimson leaves. I started to hold my breath but the wind from outside filled my lungs and breathed for me. On the walls there were long white poles, carved gracefully with intricate designs, on these poles, floating women and men languidly rested their arms. Though not a single one of them moved their mouths, I could hear a quiet murmuring of a polite party. I stayed in the doorway and took a moment to look and see all that was to be taken in, the men and women were all the colors of the clouds, some dark grey with streaks of bright white coursing through their necks and arms, some, like my companion, pale and nearly invisible in the silvery room. Here and there a hardly pink girl stood out, clearly made of the same things which make sunsets. Their eyes were a variance of blues, and greys, and nighttime blacks, deepest seas and all things liquid seemed to make up these solid floating people. I looked to my companion and could not keep the awe out of my voice “who… what are you?” I asked in a whisper. “I am what you are,” she answered kindly but confused “I am Lavinia”
“If we are the same, what is it we are?”
“We are the freedom keepers, the givers and takers, we are the ones who keep and take water. You are Lilia, and you settle everywhere, you started on the ridge and now you’ve come again to us. You will be the fog we have been waiting for.”