Long ago when the world was new, a bird lit upon a branch and whistled. It was a noise that shattered stillness. One by one the creatures of the earth called back until the cacophony of sound rose in such a glorious timbre that the earth began to shake. The hills shuddered, the mountains trembled, the valleys swayed. And when it seemed as though the ground would crack in two, the movement subsided until it was no more than a gentle rumble. The creatures looked about them, their eyes darting and deep with panicked fear. But the bird knew better. She knew it was the world's first laugh.
When the trees spoke, they roared. Whispers of their slow demise had come hinted upon the wind for an age or more. It is the nature of trees to listen; and so, they waited. But when their roots touched deep and found need to go ever deeper, and when their leaves stretched up and found their height stunted, a menacing quiet fell among them. It was hope that made them wait. And hope that made them roar. And when they roared, well… so quiet had they always been that the world took note and listened.
It was the Spring that made her weep. Early Spring, just as the sprouts pushed up from heavy earth, the burden of it pressed through with equal parts inevitability and magic. Still, it was the loss of something; a barren landscape, of faded harsh lines and cold silhouettes that filled her with this mourning. How long it would be until Autumn broke! How long until the return that made her feel like she could sleep in her own skin and be at peace. For following Spring, came the mock of happiness that glories in a sudden fleeting beauty and tantalizing warmth that is nothing more than a shortened, sharpened shock. But then, just then, as the leaves would begin to slip and the colors would start to riot, one would begin to breathe. For one knew then that death was on one’s doorstep. Death, best greeted with a kiss on each cheek. For it was only when it arrived that the air grew clear as crystal and breathable as the fumes of the finest wine. The blow of Winter’s solemn breath that br