New World Symphony: Leaf

The tiny cottage that Jaclyn moved into, available on the gallery, was built by TheKalinotrOn. It’s another beautiful TheKalinotrOn build!

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Sugar Maple stands at the edge of the worlds and plays her violin. Perhaps this music pulled me here, Jaclyn thought.

At the bend in the road where Sugar Maple plays, a gnarled old oak grows. In this oak, Jaclyn Ball perceived a slight opening that connected her to where she came from, but no matter how many times she circled the tree, she could not find her way back.

Now that she was here, she might at well make a home. The tiny cottage near the bend in the road stood vacant, with door ajar.

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The flowers said, “Come inside, Jaclyn! This home waits for you!”

And who was Jacklyn to argue with impatiens, nicotiana, and climbing clematis?

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It felt like home, full of bright colors and cozy spaces.

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The larder was well-stocked, not a small matter for someone whose daily customs, on her father’s side, included breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. Those on her mother’s sided thrived on the nectar of flowers and feasted on bee pollen. Jaclyn had been raised with the best of both cultures, so a well-stocked larder and richly planted flower garden felt a little like heaven to her.

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On Jaclyn’s first day in the new world, she thought she would look around, to see what was here and, perhaps, discover what she was meant to do.

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The same bluebells that she knew from home grew in the meadows, and the scents of humus, stream, and pine carried memories of home, too. Could this be the same earth?

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The sunlight on her shoulders carried happiness and nurturance. Certainly, all was right if living in this world felt so good!

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And there was so much to discover!

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The earth turned, days passed. Jaclyn found occasional work at a nightclub where her familiarity with crafting potions made it easy to create delicious drinks for the patrons, and where her jokes and smile helped everyone to feel welcome.

One day, following the road to the other side of the hill, she came upon a wide meadow with a small out-building, a tent, a table, and a baby cradle.

What little foundling might sleep here?

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In the cradle, a strong and happy baby lay, kicking her arms and watching the dragonflies.

Jaclyn sang to her a blessing from the old world:

Wings of butterflies
Songs of leaves
Petals of rainbows
Hover you near.

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Songs of mothers
Whispers of star dust
Blessings of rain drops
Never you fear

On her way back to her little cottage, Jaclyn jogged past a woman who looked familiar.

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“Hey!” The young woman called. “I know you!”

“Have we had the fortune to meet before?” Jaclyn asked.

“Yes,” said Cypress, for it was Cypress Bough whom she’d jogged past. “Well, we didn’t exactly meet. But I saw you at the Blue Velvet the other night. Since I live all the way out here, I didn’t really expect to see you until the next time I went back to town.”

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When Jaclyn discovered that it was her baby she had blessed, and not a foundling, she laughed so hard. Well, a foundling’s blessing should bring no harm, even to a child with her natural-born mother!

They parted friends.

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In the evening, Cypress brought her mother to visit Jaclyn.

“I’m just sitting down to supper,” Jaclyn said. “I ran completely out of marigold tea! I hope that’s no bother.”

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“Did you just move to the neighborhood?” Redbud asked. “I never saw you before the other night at the Blue Velvet.”

“Yes,” said Jaclyn. “I just found myself here one morning. And there you have it!”

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At breakfast, Jaclyn reflected on the friendliness of neighbors. Where she came from, her father’s kind were friendly with each other, and her mother’s kind kept mostly to themselves. When the two sides met or when they encountered trolls or pixies or sylphs, there was always wariness. Seldom would strangers become friends–and certainly not within a single day!

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I have so much to learn, Jaclyn thought, as she read in her garden and listened to the whispers of daisies and catmint.

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In the evening, Jaclyn heard a mournful tune that stirred great longing in her. She followed the tones, and there was the same woman, playing now on a guitar, at the bend in the road.

The music carried with it so many colors of life: loving, solitude, mystery, reunion, friendliness, magic.

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When Sugar Maple put away her guitar and disappeared around the bend, Jaclyn stood for a moment and let the silence settle all around her.

I don’t know why I’m here, she thought, but here I am! 

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