When the Curse of the Eternal Winter is Broken . . .

Tomorrow brings the first day of Spring, so today I bring a short story about the season of new beginnings.

She came from a world victim to an eternal winter. Daytime was twilight and the night was darker than we could fathom. The brightest light came from the dim glow of the miniature moon hanging in the starless sky, its light mirrored from the snow-covered ground.

Navy blues, deep purples, and the dullest greys were the only colours that were able to penetrate the omnipotent darkness. Even the trees resembled the colour of the moody sky, but when the frost clung to its concrete bark, she pretended they were made from the finest silver.

Life struggled to survive in her world and she rarely crossed paths with other humans. She was lucky enough to be gifted life, but she never truly felt alive. The cold and violent weather meant that the few who inhabited the darkness scarcely left their homes.

In a sad, undiscovered world, the only comfort she found was within her imagination. She tried to picture places where freezing winds didn‘t carry ghosts in their gale, or where the sky wasn’t in a constant state of pure darkness.

Every night she would write of other worlds to lose herself in, “dreamlands”, she called them when she was small. After each new world that she wrote of, she would fall asleep and visit the place in her dreams. But every morning she would wake up back in her own bed again, in her land that was the colour of bruises.

Until one story changed everything.

A raging storm was consuming the night outside of her lonely cottage. Frozen rocks hammered at the doors and windows, and the wind screamed through the cracks in the walls, tormenting her in an icy isolation.

The storm had approached so quickly that she had no time to replenish her firewood store and the stove was beginning to die down. Every breath became a misty cloud and her fingertips began to sting. She would not allow the storm to engulf her as it did the night.

She marched to her writing desk, pulled out her notebook and began to write, pressing the lead of her pencil into the paper so hard, that it began to carve the wooden desk beneath. Gripping her pencil with all of her might, she held her breath and wrote the words. . . .

“I open my eyes and see tall, green trees reaching towards the brightest sapphire skies. Birds sing a sweet melody as they fly between the clouds and a dragonfly with luminescent green wings flutters by and lands on a nearby purple flower. I watch them as they sway in the cool breeze which carries the perfume of the red, yellow, pink and orange wildflowers surrounding my feet.”

As she always did, she lost herself in her words. However, something was different from the other times.

She could no longer hear the violent roar of the storm from her world and she didn’t feel the cold anymore. She released her suffocating grip from around the pencil and ran her fingers through the pink heather that was brushing at her knees. She was really here.

Standing in a field of wildflowers, surrounded by sweet chestnut and blossom trees, where snow-capped mountains dominated the horizon. The air was clear and liberating.

She began to run through the field. She ran and she ran. Feeling alive for the first time in her life.

The clouds gathered together and light rain began to fall from the sky above. Each droplet was cool and crystal clear. Closing her eyes, she danced in the rain and in this moment, everything that she had ever worried about began to wash away.

The rain slowly came to an end and as she opened her eyes again. She looked up to where the clouds were moments ago and in its place was an archway glowing with more colours than she had ever seen. She never knew that a world could be so beautiful and she never wanted to leave.

After a few months had passed and the days began to get longer, the birds sang louder, the flowers bloomed brighter and the sun got warmer. And when the sun finally decided to sink beneath the horizon, the sky became a canopy of twinkling stars. The world that she had found has so much to show us.

Gradually, the pearlescent peach and pink sunsets were shown earlier and the green leaves turned hues of orange as they cascaded to the ground. During this time, she believed the world was made from solid gold.

Occasionally she would think about the place she came from and only every once in a while did she miss the sparkle of the snow. Then came her first winter in this world. The warm oranges slowly turned to blues and greys. The bark would glisten in the moonlight like fine silver, and she would feel like she was back home again.

Just for a little while, before winter gave way to spring again.

She spent the rest of her life in this ever-changing world and she explored each of its magical lands. Some lands had metallic cities full of people with hopes and dreams; others had magnificent forests filled with creatures which sang, chirped, roared, and hissed. But every single Spring, she would return to the field of wildflowers where it all began. Where she discovered this paradise, Earth, and where her life truly started.

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