While winter threw itself at her door, Calaxia wound skein of spider web silk. She lilted, then on parchment wrote squared notes. Carved pussy willow stick into proper shape. Carded, then spun bull rush fluff into magical string. Watched bare, gaunt branches struggle against the wind and prismed light of ice crystals dance across canvas of white drifts. Watched and waited. For water dripping from eaves to make rivulets in yard. First unfolding of flower petals as breeze turned south. Bird song, vibrant, in greening trees.

Then Calaxia strung her pussy willow bow, practiced in warming air on invisible instrument. Pulled butterfly dress of flowing silk from hiding spot. Plaited ribbons as bright as warbler’s wings into her hair. Moved to edge of clearing, hand to ear, and listened for that special sound. Bursting forth from forest loam. To pick a fiddle-head fern before opened wide. Cut length of strings from her winter’s skein. Tune her fiddle to verdant tones. And play. All hush, then from under log, down piney trunk, up tunnel, they came. To dance to her fiddle-head fern tunes lilted out over winter’s winds.

Each spring she pulled pussy willow bow across spider web strings, played spring concerto under sunrise skies and moonscape nights. Movement of small animal ballet swaying, pirouetting. Birds catching up notes as floated by and echoing deeper into forest. She played until her violin must open, til days of  fiddling on fiddle-head fern were done.

A riff on Michael’s prompt concerning “a meeting/encounter involving a forest creature. It could be one in which the elements of nature band together, one in which you encounter a forest creature who is either good or bad, you might be engaged in some kind of quest, you might be seeking knowledge and wisdom.”

I am the omnipresent narrator, watching the story unfurl as leaves do in the spring time breezes. Or, is Calaxia really me?

(c) Lorraine

image: extension.umaine.edu