By David Horn
When I was young, there was a place we called Evenmarrow.
It was as wondrous as anything one might hear of in any fairytale—a place of beauty and mystery where my heart was free and my soul lived untamed by the modern world.
Now I am old, spending my days in restrained social conformity. That which was wild and magical has all but escaped me. I desperately cling to small shreds of memory harboring those cherished events long past. I refer to them as events because they are, or were. This is not a fairytale. This is about truth and humanity—the humanity we have lost. It’s about those things, which matter most in the world.
We lived in the golden sunshine, amid tall emerald grasses surrounding those deep, turquoise waters of Evenmarrow. Towering cattails, reaching to the very sky itself swayed in the summer breeze at the water’s edge. Large bullfrogs lived among them. They were the guardians and not the talkative sort, thus we left them to their duties. Enormous lilies rode upon the waters, providing us with places to spell ourselves after long dives beneath the rippling surface. Lazy goldfish big as whales swam beneath the waters, and above, massive dragonflies hummed, traveling the skies over our beloved Evenmarrow.
There it was we learned to live free and that was the truth, which we lost. We plunged deep into those beautiful waters becoming lost in their tranquility, pulling ourselves even deeper while grasping the lily stalks. Down we traveled as bubbles caressed our bodies on their journey to the surface far above. The sunlight danced throughout the water in bolts that swayed, shimmering as if alive. And yet it was alive, as all things were and are. When wearied, we would spiral once more for the world above, our hair wrapping about us in graceful, flowing sheets.
When the rains visited, Evenmarrow was filled with new magic. The grooves in our grassy banks became waterslides, which we traveled down at great speeds, spilling into our heaven. That’s what it was to us—heaven. Our hearts swelled, deepening our sense of the world we lived in.
Those watery bodies descending from the grey skies sometimes overwhelmed us as we were so small and they were half our size. Thunder was an earthquake, which caused the ground beneath us to tremble; yet we were unafraid. We were not made to fear for the passing that was simply part of the mystery of life.
In winter, we halted in our walk, not as others do, but rather as trees do when the seasons change. We would become dormant in a way. Dreams became, to us, the life of our winter selves and through them we would exist in other places. Evenmarrow would wait for us, and we would long for home in return. Spring would soon arrive, bringing us home on her warm, fragrant wings, placing each of us on the banks of our watery heaven. Thus the cycle would go on. This was the way of things. Our life as it was, ages upon ages ago.
Our world was young and almost fretless, however, as time passed, outsiders came to visit our Evenmarrow. We didn’t know it then, but the place we called heaven was soon to darken before our very eyes. Whispers would be the enemy. Through all their subtlety, they would soon devour our home and our lives as well.