Prompt: this week, pick part of the quote below and write an entry inspired by it.“Wherever there is a poetical action, a religious aspiration, a heroic thought, or a union of
“Wherever there is a poetical action, a religious aspiration, a heroic thought, or a union of the nature within man and the Nature without, there is Zen.” -R. H. Blyth
My choice: a union with nature
I hop onto Clive, adjusting my seat in his saddle. He bobs his head, shaking and cawing as I get settled. I gesture for him to follow the cart, using the hand signals I’ve taught him. He caws softly and surges into motion. I sit atop him, waving to Emilia before laying back and staring up at the sky.
It’s a clear day, no clouds in the sky, just a vast blue nothingness. I toy with the idea of taking Clive for a quick flight, stretching his wings, but the laziness of our afternoon travel takes over. My eyelids feel heavy as I lay there, the slight motion of Clive’s back as he walks lulling me to sleep.
When I wake, evening is approaching. I stretch, sitting up and surveying our surroundings.
Camp soon? I ask Emilia through our telepathy.
Yes, wee one. Scout it out?
I signal Clive and in one fluid motion we’re airborne. The wind is fresh on my face as we lazily soar ahead of the cart. Clive caws happily, circling like the hunter he is, looking no doubt for a deer to descend on. Despite being half horse, his hawk instincts are still dominant.
There’s a small clearing ahead holding what appears to be old ruins. Perhaps an altar? I take Clive in for a closer look, scouting for animal tracks. The clearing looks safe enough. Clive shakes his head, drifting to the right toward a deer path.
See something, boy?
I hold on as he finds a break in the branches, diving to the ground and landing quietly for a creature of his size. I slide off his back and pull my bow in one fluid motion, blending into the forest around me. I breathe with the wind, a silent hunter, scouting up on a small herd of deer. Steadying my aim, I take one down humane as I can, the others scattering.
Clive nudges me from behind as I finish cutting away steaks for our dinner tonight. I smile and give him a tap on the beak.
Wait til camp, Clive.
I rope the deer, pulling it onto his back and walking him back to the clearing. I leave him to eat while I investigate the altar. It’s old, that much I can tell, what looks to be elvish carved into the sides. I start a fire and put the steaks on, waiting for Emilia and the cart to catch up.
She arrives a few minutes later, shaking her head as I take another bite of steak.
Enjoying yourself, wee one?
I nod, smiling. There’s plenty to go around. Take a look at the altar? I think it’s in elvish.
She spends a few minutes reading the inscriptions, her hands traveling over the weathered stone.
It’s an altar to Arwen, Old Elvish God of the Wild.
I chew the last of my steak thoughtfully. I go to Clive, wiping his messy beak clean before digging in my pack for a bottle of elvish wine. I grab one of the steaks from the fire and place it on the altar with the bottle of wine.
From one wildling to another, I say to the statue.
As I turn away, I feel a rush of wild magic fill me. The forest brightens, each flower with its own heartbeat, the clearing become its own living organism. It takes me a moment to recover, whatever blessing this god has given filling me with light.
I reach down, picking up a seed from a flower and walking to Emilia. I hold my hand out, the seed splitting open and a flower rapidly growing.
Learned a new trick, wee one? Seems the old gods still watch over this forest.
I leave the flower with her, pulling out my sketchbook and drawing Arwen best as I can from the aged statue.
Maybe this godless ranger has found a kindred deity at last.