Annah says:

“In this world, where knowledge has made so many things possible for better or for worse, there still remains the basic desire for, and problem of, freedom.  Our families have expectations of us: goals they want us to achieve, happiness they would like us to attain.  Sometimes, they know the best way to achieve these ends; other times, they think they do, but we must, in the end, find our own way, perhaps even walk alone in the darkness for a time, before we light our own new hearth-fire, at a place we can call our own.  Having done this for ourselves, we can then make our way back through the spiral path of life to the home-ground where we were bloomed and born; to the hearth-fire which warmed us as we grew.

To use a metaphor from the realm of science, a young life is often like a starship, sitting in a hangar bay and waiting to launch; struggling against gravity and the limitations of its own frame to break free of the ground and sky that had imprisoned it, to gain the velocity, the direction to achieve the destiny it was made for: to find its own wings and be a creature of flight.

I felt like that when Holder first came to me: trapped; pinned to the ground by a world and a people who did not understand me; forced into the margins of a society I thought would never allow me to lift my wings and soar as I had always dreamed of doing.  I had to find my way, not by the wide path through the Grove, but the winding road through the tangled green; my only light that of the conscience inside my own heart, and the love of a man who believed in me when there was no one else who did.

I found my way, by those lone lights, into the Sea of Stars and far beyond my world.  I found the dreams I had sought when I was a young seed-maiden looking for my path.   I broke free of gravity and launched into the black, and there I saw reflected, in the glowing multitudes of the Sea of Stars, the eyes of everyone who had loved me, who had wanted me to fly, but did not know how to give me the wings to do so.  And I saw the eyes of the man who had risked himself to try.  He helped me find the strength to chart my own course to the stars and home again–and one day, I went back to the stars and brought him home again, too.

That is what love does.  It launches us beyond our own shallow gravity; lifts us into the glittering black unknown, and waits, with arms outstretched, to carry us home again.”


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