Snow clung to the branches and leaves of trees as if Winter was clinging to stay in the realm past Her days.

A mother bear and her cubs snuffled and snorted through the slush and mud, looking for Her cave. They found Her the moment the sun kissed the horizon, the warm rays pushing off some of the snow.

One of the cubs trotted over to a pile of furs, covered in leaves from Autumn and vines from Summer. It made a small roar, pushing at the dirty and dry furs. The pile huffed back, making the curious and brave cub scream and cower behind their mother. The mother bear huffed at her cub and made a noise at the pile of furs that started to move toward the entrance of the cave. As their foot hit the cool, wet dirt of Winter, the pile of furs shuddered, the old vegetation shedding from them, turning into dust and absorbing itself into the dirt, drying it up, green grass pushing up from the soil after each of their steps.

Each step seemed to straighten out the back of the walking pile of animals from years before, even though their hands still dragged along the ground, fingers raking through the dirt, turning over small rocks, and letting the bugs enjoy the new foliage to eat. As they broke free of one of the many tree lines in this forest, the sun’s rays seemed to hone in this pile of fur. The furs grunted and groaned, shook and shimmied, hemmed and hawed, before bursting into traveling seeds, riding the gentle winds to their next home to grow.

She stood half as tall as the third tallest tree, Her limbs long and thick as Her more stationary family. She reached Her arms to the sun, greeting it and allowing it to charge Her. Her skin went from the color of stone and tinder to the rippling colors of the future that the trees around Her would have. Her hair moved as if it was a raging ocean that still carried the gentleness of a cooing river. Where Her face should be, sat Nothing but that same Nothing held all the power with a “look” that would strike common men dead.

She took a deep breath and sighed before sprinting through the rest of the trees, riding the wind as a surfer rides a wave. She twirled around trees, touched the hems of their natural garments, touched the leaves shaped like lips like a lover would, danced with the shrubbery, leaving Her partners breathless and beautiful as flowers and emerald leaves sprouted from their branches and twigs. She ran with the deer and the boar and the wolves, greeting their children with games, bowing to their elders one last time, gracing the mothers with guidance and health, pushing strength and composure to the guards before taking to the trees.

She climbed and climbed, peeking into nests, watching baby birds screech for a meal. Climbing still, set on getting to the top of the canopy, Her long, spindly fingers touched each nest She came into contact with, the chirping parents coming back with boons of food to help their screaming young ones become big and strong. As She made it to the top of the trees, She sat like a gargoyle on a church, watching the eagles and vultures soar above Her and the clouds. She took off again, Her feet barely touching the top of the trees, but still, they bloomed below Her. She jumped, Her arms in the air as if She were an eagle Herself. She moved in slow motion, the Sun changing her colors once more, the greens and browns of the forest turning into deep blues and purples. For a moment, She thought she could fly.

She started falling, Her arms reaching out above Her head, melting into each other. She let Herself fall into the wind, refusing to fight back against where She needed to be. Water started to cheer next to Her, and She smiled. Her body seemed to magnify the waterfall she raced against. As She splashed into the water, hundreds of thousands of fish spawned from Her, taking off from the lake She landed in and heading downstream. Her body sank to the bottom of the lake, curling up in the darkness once more until Spring was called upon again.

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