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  1. SkyGirl

    Iyashi: Dawn

    A deep, comfortable silence had settled over the world after the passing of the late spring storm, and I pushed the windows open to let the cool, damp breeze wash into the house. Just past the edge of the clouds, a spray of stars glittered in the deep black sky. There was no hint of frost in the air for the first time that year and I drank in the fresh warmth of approaching summer. My world, like so many others', had become very, very small in the weeks of quarantine. No longer the energetic, confident Ranger who crossed land and sea without fear, I had shrunk too, pummeled and bruised in spirit from weeks of grief, loneliness and loss. I wanted to give love and light, but found myself receiving it more often than giving it. I wanted to adapt and thrive in the quiet of isolation, but found myself just past the boundary of survival, dreading the start of each day and avoiding the sleep that brought it sooner. Tears were never far from the surface and regularly burst out at the most inconvenient of times. But all was not hopeless. I climbed up to sit in the windowsill and lean out, looking down across the valley to where the lights of the village twinkled faintly through the trees. My physical strength was beginning to return; I no longer felt pinched and frail. A shipment of fresh fruit and vegetables had boosted my spirits the previous week and another would be coming the following week. I was in regular contact with family and friends, and their spirits were lifting as they adjusted to isolation, finding space for joy and expansion within the separation. And more than these things, I had discovered a strength within myself I wasn't sure I had. Each time I had lost something or someone, fallen to the ground again with weeping, I had lifted my eyes heavenward and gotten to my feet again. When given the choice to give in to despair or keep trusting that the King's plans were good, I had turned toward Him and leaned on His strength through even the darkest nights. I always said I would follow Him even through the shadowed valleys of death, danger and grief - and I had. When I didn't understand, when I had to say goodbye, when my heart longed for the fields of my home and the embrace of my family, I had clung to faith and not given up. And with His help, I planned to continue doing just that. I slid down from the windowsill and padded into the kitchen to measure the coffee and water for the next morning. Courage in this season might not look like climbing mountains or crossing rivers - it might look like measuring the coffee and going to bed instead of staying up to wait for dawn, trusting that there would be goodness in the following day. A hint of a smile crossed my face as I blew out the candle and picked up my journal to head for bed. There was goodness coming in the morning. Even if I couldn't always feel it, I knew it was there. It would find me before long.