The wait

She planted the seed and waited. After a while rain came down from the sky, pelting her skin, chilling her. She shivered but didn’t leave, not yet.

The Sun came out, warming the soil, driving the cold from her bones. She waited. Clouds scudded by overhead, in a hurry for some reason. The moon rose, stars wheeled, and then the Sun rose again.

She didn’t just wait, of course. She prayed, she sang, she read the old stories, the myths and the legends. On the seventh day she snoozed under a cloudless sky, waking only briefly when a dragonfly happened to touch down on her nose. She observed its cathedral-window wings, irridescent with refracted sunlight, and drowsed once more after it left her.

Rain, Sun, moon, stars: she endured them all. The seedling broke the soil with a questing green curlicue, looking for all the world like a question mark in the Old Tongue. She sat on it and waited more: days, months, decades.

A boy came along and asked her why she’d climbed to the top of the tree.

“I didn’t,” she said.

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