My dear friends, the last ten days or so have been exhausting, exhilarating, and topsy-turvy. I sleep through the day, waking when it is dark to eat dinner with Lady M and her family. Then I fly up to the rocks to begin work on my cave. Sequoia has been most generous with his time, working by my side every night. I had told him many times that he does not have to give up his nights to help me, but he just smiles and tells me that he enjoys the work. “You can help me excavate my cave when I feel the need to have a place of my own,” he has told me on more than one occasion.
Together we claw away at the rock, carrying out the rubble in large buckets, which we then empty onto the mountainside in many locations. It would not do to leave a noticeable fall of rock near the cave and thus attract attention to what we are doing. Then, when we are happy with what we have done, we flame the rock with our fire until the rock melds and seals, forming a strong surface for ceilings, walls, and floors.
We work in this way until we see the first lightening of the sky, and then we make our way to our respective homes. I must confess that I feel weary in mind and body after a night’s work, but also happy in my heart because I know that soon the hard work will be complete.
Back at lady M’s house I make breakfast for the family and we dine together in the cool of the morning. I tell them about my progress, and they tell me about their plans for the day. Lady M talks about the projects she is working on and the books she is reading, Lord B describes how his new venture is taking shape, and Mistress Lili tells me about the work that she will be doing. She is helping out around the house and it getting paid for her labor, which pleases her greatly. Then, full of breakfast, I climb onto my sleeping platform and thankfully let sleep take me.
When I rose from my sleep just a few days ago, an email was waiting for me. It was from Lady Fors and she told me that something very strange was happening to in her Clan Hall. Here is her message.
Dear Lord Gryf:
I hope all is well with you and yours.
For many days after you left our Clan Hall, Arwel begged us to give him blood so that he might make his special serum, but, of course, we refused his request. He alternated between pleading for our mercy and threatening us, weeping and raging. As we watched, he began to slow down and his hair began to whiten. His face wrinkled and his body lost its youthful strength. The process was gradual until a few days ago when it started to accelerate. He is withering like a plant that is deprived of water. He does not ask for blood now, and seems to have accepted his fate. We are doing our best to make him comfortable and I think his flame will extinguish very soon. He lies quietly on his bed, listening to music. He says little.
I know that Arwel has done many terrible things in his unnaturally long life, but it grieves me to see him end in this way. He has no kin, no friends to sit with him. No one will mourn his leave taking. Knowing this, we have been taking it in turns to stay with him as we do not want him to leave this life alone.
I wish you well and send my greetings to your family,
So, it would appear that Arwel is finally out of time. He stole time for so long and yet he did not use that time to do anything meaningful, and he leaves so little behind. His business empire has collapsed in his absence and thus he has no legacy that will outlive him. The sadness of his wasted life weighed heavily on me for some time. Arwel’s story also made me more determined than ever that I will not live my life always looking for something ahead of me, or grieving for what is in the past. I will live in the present, and endeavor to create a legacy that I can be proud of when my flame starts to flicker and wane. It need not be a grand legacy, just one that has significance for someone.
I have so enjoyed writing this blog, sharing my adventures with you, but now I need to set this blog aside and start writing the book that has been filling my mind with words and images for a while now, the one that describes my life story in all its strangeness. I imagine that I will, at times, draw on what I have written in my blog.
I will also spend my time turning my cave into a home, and getting to know the dragons who live in this part of the world. Sequoia’s clan is only one of many. I will build friendships that I hope will help me to become a true part of the dragon world again, and at the same time, through Lady M and her family, I hope to better understand the human world, which has puzzled us dragons for so many centuries.
Thank you so much for reading my words for all these months. I am sure that I will, on occasion, write a post on my blog. We have shared so much and I cannot bear the thought of not reaching out to you every so often.
Be well and do write to me as often as you wish. I would love to hear from you.
Fly high, friends, and may your flames burn bright,