Posted by: jolantru | January 1, 2011

Fifteenth Branch: Uncharted Horizons

“Are you sure, Mirra of the sea?”

Kindness was snuggled in front of me, cocooned in a cloth sling. I felt her turn, content and replete with milk. Earlier I washed her in the warm bath. Her hair smelled clean, cotton-soft to the touch.

The silver fish thrummed with energy, activated by my magic. I was ready. Josh had stowed our belongings into the inner compartments, including the farewell gifts from Tenzin, Rakshya and our Lhasan friends. The she-oak sapling was strapped in and secured, with its root system wrapped in a ball of moist fertile soil and porous mueslin.

Auri’s urn, wrapped in white cloth, cradled in Josh’s arms.

While I recovered from the birth, I began to make plans. We were going back. Not to the City. Not to Josh’s homestead in the Innerlands.

Home. My true home. Back to the sea.

Rakshya fed me nourishing soups, made with fish and herbs. How she managed to get fish remains a mystery. Occasionally, Dorje Dawa would come and massage my body with warm fragrant oils, murmuring words of healing as she did so, her fingers kneading all the knots of pain away.

When I knew that I was sufficiently well, I made my decision.

“I am going back,” I told Josh. “I am going home.”

He regarded me, his eyes betraying his worry, his fear. There is always a concern that women would fall into depression after childbirth. It is a very real thing, this depression. I have seen women who wept, women who rejected their babies. Childbirth is powerful transformation. It twists women inside out. It changes women.

Josh did not want to lose me as he did for Auri. But my head was clear, my decision firm. I am going home.

“Are you sure, Mirra of the sea?”

Rakshya again.

“I am,” I hugged her with one arm, mindful of Kindness. “You sure you don’t want to follow me?”

She laughed, a merry sound in the midst of bright snow and sunlight. “This is my home, Mirra. My place is right here. With my people.”

I hugged her once more. I would miss Rakshya.

“I would hang a glass shard for you,” I said quickly and she lifted an eyebrow, questioning, curious. “An inbetweener tradition. Wishes to the sky. Like your prayer flags.”

Rakshya chuckled merrily. “Thank you. Too-je-che.”

Kindness cooed against my chest. I gazed into her open eyes. She will know her co-mother, I thought fiercely, determined. She will know who Auri is. I waved to Rakshya who bowed, stepped into the silver fish and had a momentary surge of doubt. I inhaled deeply and pulled the seat belt around me. Josh’s presence comforted. He had grown thinner, his face now gaunt, his cheeks sunken. Yet his eyes shone fiercely, filling me with courage.

I placed my hand into the sunken palm panel, summoning my power. “Magic comes from within you,” the words I often impressed upon the students resonated no, stronger than ever. I gasped and inhaled deeply. In my mind’s eye, light bubbled forth, branching skywards through my body like rivers of fire, streaming out from my fingers and into the silver fish. I hung suspended in a bright jade-green sea, spirals of golden fronds wrapping me protectively, strengthening me.

I was the sea. The sea was me. I floated.

I flew.

The silver fish lifted, the winds billowing, invigoratingly cold. Tenzin had equipped us with a telescope and a detailed map of the world. Rakshya waved, her face lifted towards the sun for a moment before turning away.

Kindness was smiling at me, her plump fingers in her mouth. I was ready. My family was.

~*~

We stopped over at the caravansari, where Auri’s death was deeply mourned by those who knew her. Heri and Farhadi played with Kindness, holding her and making cooing noises at her. I placed a she-oak seedpod on Fiona’s grave. So many deaths. So many changes.

I felt changed. I was changed.

I walked to the wishing tree, listening to the tinkling of glass and votive bells. I fished out the amber glass shard, smoothed and polished, and tied it to the branch with a leather strap. Blessings for Rakshya. I tied another glass shard – sea green – for my family.

For Auri.

Josh stopped me when we were about to leave the caravansari. Most of the City folk had left. Returned to the City, Heri said. Whatever had happened was more than a year ago. It felt like a lifetime belonging to another person. Anak Jamu had stopped erupting. Everything was back to normal.

What was ‘normal’?

“Mirra, don’t you want to go back to the City? Re-start Auri’s School?” Josh said, his hand on my arm firm, staying me for a moment. Just for a heartbeat moment. “Mirra.”

I had thought about that. Auri would want it. “When we have settled down, Josh.” It was an evasive answer and I knew it. What should I say to comfort my love? I faced Josh squarely, kissing him on the lips. “We can start the School in the village.”

Josh embraced me. “I hope you know what you are doing.”

“I do. The sea’s in my blood.”

A soft gurgling, filled with merriment, drew my attention. Kindness. Heri was carrying her, her body language belaying her sorrow.

“You don’t have to leave us,” Heri said, her husky voice thick with emotion. “We have space here for you.”

“Heri,” I squeezed her hand. “I am going home. To my real home. Back to the sea.”

We boarded the silver fish and I activated it, looking resolutely at the blue skies. The power hummed beneath my feet, in my bones.

It was uncharted horizons for us now. What would face us in the future? Would the village accept the School?

Would the village remember me?

Ti oh oh:
The sky is dark!

I am a daughter of the sea.

I am going back to her.

fin

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Responses

  1. […] About The Novella · Author’s Bio · Characters · Contributors/Sponsors · Crafting Ideas · Donate · Flora and Fauna · Gallery (Pearls Of Beauty) · Interconnections – Links · Map of Mirra’s World · Prologue – Read This First · Recipes … View full post on pearls – Google Blog Search […]

  2. […] by jolantru in Uncategorized The last chapter of Oysters, Pearls and Magic is up and running. […]


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