“I can’t precisely say… Perhaps the last bit of humanity within me? Pity, understanding, solidarity? I too had my Time of the same vain strivings. The Vanity of Vanities- all for an illusion for which we each must assign meaning to- to keep our soul’s will and hope afloat on seas that never cease raging. After it all, I ended up myself preferring to stay rather than go- the familiar to the distressing. If it’s a matter of nobility, I see the objective difficulty of it. But without creating a shelter, it’s a continual trek underneath a Sun that never sets, and a Moon that never rises, to permit any rest inside. You follow?”
“Yes, I believe I do-” I replied pensively.
“I’m essentially just giving them what they want. It’s not always the absolute best, or the most interesting- but it is permissible. But some truly are happy remaining within the confines of that handed down through the generations. They end up here thereafter the wandering and the lessons- others start here and leave- bitterly dissatisfied with an insatiable craving, and rightfully so. But forcing matters of change- much less people, Rarely if ever goes nor ends well. But you would know that.” He reached across the table, tapping my arm.
“You’re still bleeding.”
I glanced down to see that running along the length of my forearm I had evidently cut myself somewhere along the way over the rock faces- likely on one of the many jagged, broken branches that jut up in between the cracks. It appeared rather deep, though most of the blood was dried, with only a couple drops on the table. I had however, unwittingly smeared it over the right half of my clothing. It was just like me to never notice the type of thing until I observed an untraceable trail of blood.
“I like it- adds character,” he volunteered.
I could not conclude exactly what he meant, or if he knew why I always ended up tripping over something sharp.
“Ah, where is my mind-”
He got up and stood over by the long,wooden table with the vials and bottles. “I got distracted – it’s been so long since I’ve had remotely intriguing company.” The ‘Seeing ‘ Seeds aren’t in that box anymore.” he continued rummaging through the bottles, dumping them out and picking a few different colored Seeds from the hundred. “I had to hide them elsewhere when the girl-whom I’m sure you met- found them. Took me a week to figure out where they were all disappearing to…”
“Yes, what is she doing here? She seems so sorely out of place.”
“Oh, the girl won’t stay- I could never let her. She thinks she’s a part of this, evidently excited to be of the age to begin partaking in the education of jobs, tasks, duties, our Grand Illusion of business, or whatsoever it be- but I’ve watched, and I see it in her heart for higher heights and it’s intrinsically lower depths. It would sadden me to see the girl go, but it would pain me much more to see her stay- or God forbid- inherit contentment with this place.
She plays with her small words and impossibly fragile form, but let it not deceive you; she sees and hears that something is missing and vacuous with this place. I’ve known she’s been sneaking in here and reading every leaf and scribble on these shelves since she very first arrived- Many books of which are unfit for her age; unfit knowledge for her Time to know of the most difficult truths and lessons this world conspires to teach each of us.
Her parents unknowingly aim to instill Fear within her- to try to keep her safe- but regardless, she’s always running off alone into the forest and towards the Higher Mountains. However, I do not know if she has seen or knows the exact nature of what wicked terrors reside there and in between…. Her mentors fetch her back and bring her to me, asking me to give her one of the Contentment Seeds; that she may stay and relax enough to learn the things they learned at her age. I feign compliance, but always simply give her some plain old Birch Tree seeds.
Here they all are now, take one and see what you will. I can’t tell you which one is which however.” He placed four seeds in front of me on the table.