Story for the Day: Kai Linaa's Morning
Kai Linaa's Morning
The following morning, Kai Linaa set out to perform her tasks along the shore, but it would be a difficult office to fulfill; her mind was aflutter with what had passed the night before. As she went to the garden well and filled her waterskin, his face was everywhere. She saw him in the trees, perceived his voice on the wind, turned about once or twice in hopes of catching him sneaking upon her, could not wait to be thrown over by him in surprise, looked down into the well waters to see if he were standing behind her from above, but all this was fancy. He could not be there now, for his training and his teaching had called him away. He had even told her so, but she would not believe it. She would rather have him forever hovering near her, waiting to thrill her with a hunt and a capture, but she must own that work must be done, and she therefore left the garden with the sincerest aspiration of seeing the grey mountain during his practices with his students along the southern shore.
To the shore she soon went, after saying her smiling hellos to the flurry of Mivaari who came running to her feet from the temple. They were all alive with the morning, having just eaten their Sindhaas and being let outside for their morning lessons in botany, and they demanded that Kai Linaa join them for a few moments to see the new blooms in the garden, inhale their fragrances, study their colours, learn of their germination, and examine the textures of their sepals.
“I would, but I have to go,” Kai Linaa said laughingly as the children hopped up and down around her.
They entreated in their small voices, pouted and widened their eyes, but even their powers of persuasion could not break Unghaahi’s charm over her. She would see him, she must, and even the adoring faces and eager tempers of the Haanta Mivaari could not detain her further. She said her goodbyes and promises of visiting at midday to those who could understand her and walked to the southern shore with her large waterskin tucked beneath her arm.
Her walk, furnished by the sounds of the Rhubhkina procession behind her and guided by the brilliancy of the morning light, proved to be an array of island beauty: the rushes of the clear waves hastened up the white shores, the hues of the Haanta people and dress were all in high contrast, the verdant palms hung languidly over the rising knolls of the capital, the gaiety of the women, the civility of the men, the glory and circumstance of Sanhedhran was all before her, and she wondered how anyone who had visited could be tempted to leave such a place. Everyone seemed easy in their work, enjoying themselves yet ever busy, speaking to one another and laughing and smiling while performing every task with perfect concentration. She perceived it was an unconscious sort of exultation, one stemming from innate abilities being nurtured and expressed, and she questioned whether she would feel the same sort of happiness in a while hence. Even when coming to the southern shore and remarking the Amghari in the midst of their strenuous routines, there was a calmness to their natures of which she could not but be sensible.
She looked among them for Unghaahi and a quick glance over the whole of the shore discovered him to be standing beside his students near the Hophsaas area. He was walking about them, inspecting their footing and stances, correcting them with careful adjustments in their posture, and improving their techniques by showing them blocks and counters. She made a wistful sigh and stopped to remark the wondrous creature: so attentive and yet so formal, so immense and yet so delicate, so foreboding and yet so kind. She sighed again, her appearance in an amorous glow for him. Would that she had the courage to march down to him and offer him water if only to steal a few words with him in between sips, but he was engaged and she would not disturb his lesson. She reckoned that his students were as much desirous of his company as she was, though for differing reasons, and therefore went further down the shore near the barracks to offer the other Amghari some refreshment. She wished that he would see her, but she was so very small in comparison with the trees and buildings about her, but he had seen her, and quite without her noticing it.