Daughter of the Land

By Audrey Lambert, TIWP Student

The daughter of the land wore a striking resemblance to her mother. A stony expression blanketed her features, yet her eyes sparkled with the love of everything—speckled with the pattern of the camouflaged side of a fragile butterfly wing. She had a hard time hiding her own emotions for her eyes are the gates to her heart.

She treated the stones with the utmost respect, always sure to tread lightly upon the ground that they chose to rest. Birds chirped their secrets to her and in return she whistled as she walked. She babbled her despair to the patient ears of the brook. It bubbled comforts to her as it shrouded her ankles. She wore her hair in braids for simple practicality, for without the restraint the wind would take her long hair by the strand and dance with it through the air and back down to cover her eyes. In the light of the sun each follicle of hair held a prism of color, paintings of brightly colored gardens and fallen leaves in the autumn.

She’d lay in the grass for hours, watching the microscopic ecosystem from an angle at which the blades of grass morphed into an expansive rain forest and inchworms resembles great pythons. Dew drops turned to little mirrors, showing her a miniature reflection of herself and the ants that used her plaited hair as ladders. She’d close her eyes and lie there, soaking up the thirst of the land, basking in the reality that there was earth beneath her and air above her and galaxies far above that. 

She didn’t fear the creatures of the dark or those that harnessed the use of sharp teeth enclosed in a jaw that had the strength of a thousand men. She knew if she felt love towards them that they would return their love with a flash of their pearly whites as a bright grin rather than a blur of bitten flesh and blood. 

She accepted the blessings of the body she had so she fueled it with the colors of the world around her, the red of a cherry, the orange of a tangerine, they yellow of a lemon, the green of a cucumber, the blue of a blueberry, and the purple shade that encased the sweet nectar of a honeysuckle.

She adored the scent of a fresh morning, a new day, another beginning. Yet, she accepted the darkness that followed the orange sunset with open arms. It encased her in the silence of humans and the symphony of crickets chirping, frogs croaking, and the leathery flaps of a bats graceful wings. She relished in the cold glow of the moon as it stared down at her. She waited patiently for the sun to say hello so she could feel its warmth drape over her skin and embrace her body.

At noon she waited at the top of the mountain, she waited for the sun to reach its apex and wave down to her with its bright smile. She’d watch the thin layer of snow turn shiny and sweat drops of water back into the soil just as droplets of her own sweat trickled down her back, a gift of cool generated by her own body to relieve the intense stare of the sun’s lovingly protective eyes. Every morning she’s breathe a hello to the Earth and every night she’d whisper a droopy goodnight.

She knew of the Earth’s love and so she spread it. It filled her from her head to her toes so she thought it was only fair to sprinkle it upon the hearts of others, guiding their hands to retrieve the discarded trash on the ground before it plagues the ocean, convincing lips to meet cool metal straws instead of plastic, and most of all, pulling the edges of mouths into smiles at the views of the Earth and all its wonders, opening ears to the voice of the land and its rhythmic heartbeat, slowly being silenced by its own calls for help.

She takes the hands of her brothers and sisters and leads them towards a future of lush forests and thriving ecosystems, for she is the daughter of the land—and so are we.

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