She’d spent years chasing bipolar Fire and Water both. The flame and the ocean, Dionysus and Athena. When one became too smothering, too demanding, she’d retreat to the other to beg for redemption, and both gods would provide in turn until yet again the other murmured out and she’d valley down into sanctuary again. Justifying with Balance and talk of penance she would place herself on sporadic coasts. Her dreams and poetry were filled with burning beaches, raging blazes gloriously consuming acres and acres, dozens of retreating miles of dunes, beach grass, poker-hot stones and shells. A devouring on the border, a silent epic war between the two cardinal forces was the oil, her arterial sap. At night the moon never waned as the months went by. There was never a change, this was how she knew she was dreaming. One last rite, she spoke when her voice could no longer cut through the roar and rush and din, and she acknowledged Risk as the possibility of Eternal Return. She could not bear cursing or being cursed thus and made her way to the forest by way of a string.
Finding a root to rest between she wondered when the moon might be full again here, when it would be warm enough to swim like a wet fish again, to be slick, to float. She waited for a woosh to rip behind her and lift her up as a demigod.
And then the trees started speaking, cricking and cracking in layers. The forest creatures danced their scurry dance, showing off as the filigree amongst the trees’ vast and cozy stillness and she remembered them her childhood friends and the tale of the cottage in the woods, how she let that celebrated Pond dribble away, and she realized she forgot she had left someone in the bottom of the pot.
And right then, neither threatened nor threatening the lush earth mother with shade and moss birthed one more forest nymph, who you’ll sometimes notice through licks of campfire flicking her wings in a stream.