||[11 Jul 2006|01:43pm]
(picks up from Ororo's arrival
The grove welcomes her as she enters, and she finally feels at home. This is her space... she knows its moods, its history, its tastes, and it knows hers, like a comfortable lover or an old friend.
She relaxes into its embrace, becoming reacquainted... running her hand along a treetrunk here, a broad leaf there, breathing in its ever-changing scent. She slips her sandals off and digs a toe into the soil... too thirsty for this time of day. She'll have to do something about that, before the grasses suffer.
She slips off the gypsy dress as well, and hangs it on a nearby branch. Her panties and bra join it a moment later, and she wonders idly if the boys have repaired their video equipment yet after the last time it short-circuited. No doubt they would be shocked if they knew she knew about it, but revealing the fact would be tactless... stalking in silence is part of the game, and it costs Ororo nothing to let them play it. She would happily go naked in the Mansion, did it not cause so much discomfort among the residents.
Finally she edges herself over the bank of the pond, letting it take her by increments as she invokes its name, touches its spirit. She closes her eyes as it responds to her touch, welcomes her into itself with the quick, open love that is its nature. She loves every part of this grove, of course, but has a special love for the Goddess-blessed luxury of water in such abundance. In her homeland it would be revered as a miracle... and rightly so, despite how casually those raised here dismiss it, surrounded as they are by miracles.
Bright Lady be praised, for Your generosity with Your children... even those who never call and never write.
She laughs at the impudence of her own prayer, knowing her laughter will be taken up as an offering along with everything else, and her body sinks below the surface as she allows her consciousness to diffuse further... into the water, and through it the soil, into the roots that drink it and the leaves that breathe it into the air, feeling the sun that feeds them. She invokes each tree, greeting it by name and feeling it welcome her with the characteristic slow warmth, inquiring as to its well-being and attending to its needs as well as she can. They, in turn, tell her of their neighbors elsewhere in the grounds, and the smaller shrubs and grasses, bloated from too much sun and not enough rain.
When the moment comes she invokes one of the cloud-spirits, whose names change with every breeze, and asks its assistance on behalf of the greatest trees and the littlest grasses, all surfeited with the sun's rough love. As always, they dither... clouds do not attend carefully, and their memories are short, and a request must be repeated many times before they hear it.
A familiar frustration arises... envy of her old self, who could instruct the clouds like a class of unruly children, rather than approach them as a supplicant. She greets those feelings by name, also, and honors them for their truth... but they are of no help in this task, so she makes of them an offering to the Goddess and returns her attention to the clouds.
Eventually, they agree to deliver some of their moisture to the Mansion's grounds, if the west wind can be convinced to hurry them along to their next destination afterwards. Ororo smiles... an unexpected advantage of her mother's sorcery over her neutralized mutant gifts is that the weather now enforces its own balance, rather than obeying her orders and leaving it to her to address the consequences. She thanks the clouds on behalf of the Mansion's grounds, and turns her attention to the spirit of the west wind.
Eventually her negotiations are complete, and she returns her attention to the grove, reassuring it that its neighbors' thirst will soon be assuaged. It begins to tell her of a new dead space in their extremities, perhaps some new construction... but now her body clamors for attention. Even in trance, she can only go so long without drawing a breath, and that time is coming to an end. She withdraws her consciousness from the grove with a final caress, returns to her body, and returns to the surface to breathe.
She floats on her back in the water for a while, letting her lungs fill, and laughs at the sudden memory of the first time she went into water-trance here. The boys had been watching, and Sam had nearly knocked her unconscious when he came cannonballing into the water to "rescue" her... then nearly fainted himself from embarassment afterwards.
She never could quite decide whether he'd been more embarassed at revealing that he'd been watching, losing control of his flight, or holding a naked woman in his soaking-wet boxers. She had managed not to laugh at the poor boy's distress, but it was a close thing... she didn't have the heart to tell him he'd interrupted her ritual.
She'd rearranged the undergrowth after that so the pool itself wasn't visible, but the memory still amused her. Such an earnest boy, he was...