Xena Fan Fiction
Thoughts of a Bard
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There is a tree that stands at the end of a meadow on the edge of a windswept cleft on the mountain of our retreat. It is a unique tree. A lonesome pine. It towers some thirty feet high and is four feet in diameter. It has stood here, I would guess, for some 400 years. It has bloomed and increased in good times, and endured through the bad times.
"Lovely" is not a word that comes to mind when you first see this tree. No artist would draw it, no potter adorn a stately vase with its likeness, and no stone cutter would inscribe it upon a wall for all of time. It has been twisted by the ravaging wind, split and blistered by lightning, marred by fire, gnawed on by insects and riddled with holes by birds.
Humans, who very seldom but still do pass this way, have stripped long pieces of its bark for their use, they have carved names in it like.. PALAMON RULES, EROS OR OBLIVION, BEWARE TYGONE! Shepherds have left their sign on it, designating the area for grazing. Soldiers have inscribed their insignia upon it, to show who rules the land. Many have come and gone.
It now serves as the lone lookout from which my companion and I sit and talk. A place where this bard can look over the valley beyond to think, imagine and write. It has continued through all; drought, flood, fire, and cold. There is decay and death in it near the ground. But at the tips of its upper branches, where they reach forth to touch the sky, there is life; green and fragrant as the day it was born.
I respect this old tree. For its age, but even more for its endurance in taking whatever is thrown at it. That it has been useful in a practical way counts for much. Most of all though, I revere its ability to heal itself through all the accidents and mistreatment. There is a WILL in it to live, to endure and to flourish, come what may.
This evening she went for a walk in the late fall moonlight to see if we were safe and sound and perhaps to find a bit more patience. No one comes much to this valley, except a lone shepherd tending sheep or the occasional traveler. Though, they are fewer these days since the Romans built a road around the mountain along the seawall. Still, she says one can never be too careful. I guess she is right. There are still many a bounty on her head, but not too many come searching for the Warrior of legend anymore.
She is soon drawn back to the cabin she built for us here. I can just see the faint outline of her shadow through the window as she stands on the porch watching me from the outside. I sit near the fire at the table, writing now, and she knows all would be fine if she came in, but still she stands watching. Many would not know her as the warrior she once was, her hair now peppered with gray and her body riddled in pains from battles long forgotten.
For twenty years she has been my warrior, my friend, and mycompanion.
The other day, we argued with each other over something very trivial. Today, the fire of that anger is still warm. The other day, she made me cry in angry frustration. The other day, she was mad at me. She has the ability to drive me to complete distraction. I must concede Im not always easy to live with, but then neither is she. She is dark and moody, slow to speak and quick to anger. Old grievances are often flung off the shelf from where they have been shakily stored.
But today, we wandered through the nearby wood picking the last of the ripened, sweet berries from the vine and we walked back together hand in hand. Were good at forgiving. We have to be. The storms of life come and go, but we still love each other. It is a required condition of loving someone and being loved back.
Now, tonight, as I watch her through the window, I see a soft smile come across her face as some memory comes to mind or a plan of innocent revenge forms.
The forest we walked through once extended all the way to that lone tree on the cleft. That tree comes to mind tonight as I watch her from the corner of my eye. I hope that love we have for each other will be like that tree. A steadfast ability to endure all thats thrown at us and the depth to heal all the damage done to us.
"How was your walk Xena?" I softly ask as she steps into the cabin and I lay aside my quill. She walks over and pulls me into a lovingembrace.
"The evening star has rose.
The air is brisk.
And there is light enough to see from the tree."
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