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Laith Lus found me. He heard my doubts and worries. He understood. Once, he had roamed far beyond our forests to stand in distant cities. Restlessness is rare in a culture that is rooted. But it comes. Laith Lus assured me all was well.
Free of worries and with his encouragement, I ranged far, skirting our borders with the curiosity of the young teenager I was. We hoped it would be enough, but it wasn’t. Laith Lus helped me prepare for my first journey south and explained to my mother I would be well. It was my path to go.
I left twice. That first time when I was 39 and then again when I was 48, but not since. I learned much out there in the world beyond our forest, in the land controlled by the Church. I learned how different are the Kith and to be proud of that.
I found peace with who I was and discovered unexpected friendships. I received help and returned it. Coming home, I even found happiness in the true joy of family and belonging – of acceptance. But I never did find what it was that drove me away from here. Surely my restlessness has a purpose. I came home when the itch of being away from my tree outweighed the drive to wander.
It has been fifteen years. I thought the discontent may have left me. I hoped whatever had drawn me away before had been answered. If it had, then I could be content to be here. My mother’s wishes for me to choose, though she never expressed them directly – or no more directly than my through my sister – weighed on me. There is no one I feel so strongly about. But maybe if I tried, if I would not leave again . . . . I could try. I could consider it. No Kith other then Laith Lus understands this need within me. But if the feeling were gone truly, maybe I could share my life.
And then, a few mornings ago, I woke up and I knew. I knew the restlessness had not gone and that my life would still take me beyond Lus na Sithchaine and the forests. I knew there was no one here for me, despite so many wishes on that path.
Maybe I have not learned what it is that drives me but for once I did not try to explain. I just said No. No, I will not dance. No I will not join. I am here, a part of this culture, but my part is not what you expect or want. It is not the normal. I don’t know what it is yet, but I will wait and prepare.
Every morning, I become more and more aware of the borders of our lands, the boundaries, and what is beyond. I spend time in Drufforth with Skree, my old friend. I learn the names of the boats coming and going.
The time is not yet, but it is coming. Something is coming.
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