"Here, let me take your coat," says Springtime. "And help you with the laces of those heavy boots." She pulls them from your feet slowly, then tosses them aside. "The dawn is breaking brightly, the orange sun already promising warmth," she continues. "You'll want your feet bare as we tumble through the dew dappled grass, your shoulders unshielded to the boundless blue sky."
You move slowly, your bones hesitant, not yet trusting the increase of light.
"I know. I know," she says and sighs a little. "Take your time. It's been a uniquely cold winter," and she leads you to a simple chair on the deck overlooking the expansive fields beyond.
A stillness settles. A balance point of sorts.
You notice your back body still sheathed in a thin, malleable but fierce snakeskin of fine metallic mesh. It shivers a bit as you settle into your seat. You feel your exposed feet on the dark wood of the deck, the soles tentative to making contact. You feel the sun, now lifting higher above the horizon line, meeting your face and chest - a thousand points of light streaming in through the panoply of trees. Your eyes close against it. Too bright as of yet.
Springtime sits beside you, perched lightly at the edge of her chair. You can feel her breathing, steady and smooth, with a rhythmic ripple occasionally coursing through.
You listen. Just listen.
As your feet relax, the soles softening now into the receptive wood.
Again. And again.
And as you do, the snakeskin sheath quivers and slips across your shoulder blades, across the back of your heart, down your spine, sweeping and settling around your hips and the sweet small of your back. Spontaneously and without deliberation, your eyelids flutter open, letting your gaze land low on the near and imminent realm of the fields.
She was right, the grass is dew dappled. You can see it now, glinting and flirting with the building heat of the day. It beckons. You lean in just a little, the warmth slowly spreading through your chest, beginning to reach your hesitant bones.
"Okay now?" comes the lyrical voice beside you. "Okay to stand?"
Your hand moves to the mesh resting on the chair at the base of your spine and your fingers weave around its tendrils, establishing a solid grip. In the movement, you feel the strength in your arm, your shoulder, the flank of your side body. You pull, a microscopic shift of your hand at first, testing, sensing. The sheath responds. You pull, more decisively now, and feel the metallic snake slide down from your hips, across your low back, along the base of the chair until it is entirely clear. You let your arm fall beside you and your palm open, unfurling the sheath to the deck below. Your body feels light in its absence. A buoyant breeze sweeps along your bare skin, fresh and clean.
Springtime gazes at you, a kind and slightly mischievous smile at play on her face.
"Yes?" her eyes ask.
"Yes," you answer. And stand.
Movement is awkward to begin. So much went dormant in the dark of winter. So much went deep underground. The sap of your body is slow to rise.
She steps ahead, then pounces deftly off the deck and into the grass. Her movement excites you, quickening your pace. Just then, the scent of something - lemon blossom, perhaps, or marigold - takes hold of you and replaces the weakness with a zingy flush up and through your whole system. As it reaches your neck, your head cascades back and your mouth opens to the nectar of the day.
"Here I am now," arises an internal voice. "Here I am."
You pounce as well, an unexpected and ebullient laugh emerging from your throat as you land in the thick grass. The earth is plump, fecund, alive beneath your feet. It rises to meet you. You turn upon it, your whole body now held by the sun shining down. You notice your bones relaxing, trusting the warmth. You notice your shoulders softening down your lithe back. You notice the fullness of your breath, touching and delighting in places it hasn't before reached. Your body feels expansive, uninhibited, in love, even, with the world around you.
Then comes the hum of the bees doing their glorious gathering of sweetness. You listen and grow curious about the honey they are sure to make. The taste of its amber richness on your tongue. You grow curious about the nectar of the world, and the odd but delightful sense that you are now a part of it. Merging in and through it as it, in turn, envelops and enraptures you.
Springtime glances back, her smile overwhelming her luminous face. You pause, your toes curling down and into the soil. Then you lift your gaze to meet hers in a peaceful, liberated fullness.
"Yes, absolutely. Onward!"
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