A bit of creative writing over the holidays…

My life is over now. To me if felt like a full life but I know that compared to other beings it was nothing but a blip in time. To others like me my life was long. I saw them, people of all shapes and sizes arrive and live in my community. The departure happened over one year for most of my people, but for me there were still years to go before my life was over. I do not understand why, but I was the first to arrive and the last to leave. Does that make me a leader?

Over thirty cycles have passed in my lifetime and I have known solitude and loneliness. When I first arrived at my home, I was the only one on the island. A vast ocean of light green sea surrounded the land. I lived on the dark-side, shielded by the only hill the island had from the light-side. Oh the light-side, what a fearsome place it seemed to me. We were protected first by mountains of wood and glass. The woods were covered in monstrous vegetable that seemed to crave the light. Most impressive though was the curtain wall. The curtain wall was many times the height of our island hill and it surrounded our home in a protective semi-circle. We lived in the wall’s shadow and I never felt the need to know what was beyond it. It shielded us from the full blast of ferocious heat and bitter cold that came from the light-side. We could never see what happened on the other side of the wall, but the wind that flowed over it hinted to us of the violence. We are a peaceful sedentary people, none of us wanted to see what lay beyond.

The dark-side was different. Whilst the light-side defined our year with its ever-changing luminescence, the dark-side provided a consistency of form and open skies that comforted us.  Mountain ranges ran along the light-rise and light-set edges of our world, strange shapes formed before our time that we didn’t try to understand. At the furthest reaches of our world was the life-portal. It lead to a place where we were created and it was where I expected to go to when I departed. A different world beyond our understanding, but we hoped a better place to continue our next existence for if we were created there then surely it can only be a place of peace. The opposite of the light-side.

Where the light-side provided dangerous consistency and violence, the dark-side gave us meaning and interest. Storms appeared on the dark-side seemingly at random to challenge our complacency and dogma. The arrival of a storm was thrilling to us. Things happened when storms came. The lifting of the mist over the life-portal would herald the arrival of a storm. People came to the island in storms, mostly on their own but sometimes in small groups.

I never knew when it would happen but new arrivals would often appear at the end of the year. The storm would generally place them somewhere on the island but if the person was particular large, and by large I mean a significant proportion of the island landmass, they would land on the coast, near the forests almost as though they were to shore up the curtain wall. Because of this I felt sorry for the large ones, they seemed to be penalised for their size and forced to confront the violence of the light-side. As the years passed by though I wondered whether in fact the massive ones had a better life than mine. They had a purpose to fulfil, to protect us more vulnerable people whereas I seemed to have no purpose at all. I observed but did nothing more than wonder why I existed. I lived, I suppose I had no choice but it seemed to me that a purpose was desirable and I wanted one. Now I know I did in fact have one, I just couldn’t comprehend what my purpose was at the time. That would only come with my departure.

to be continued …