Summer: 14 and a half years at the Monastery
Sunar sat with his head against the wall and tried to process the pain. It felt like every muscle in his back, wings, and chest had caught fire. He barely registered the sound of the running footsteps. His mother’s voice cut through the fog of pain, “My son, my baby boy, my precious Sunar. What have you done to yourself? always you have pushed too hard, tried to rush ahead of what we tell you, but this…”
Her hand roamed up and down his back, across his wings. Gentle, but firm, her touch found the places where she could help. A soft rub here, a firm push there, and some of the worst knots began to let go. His mind began to spin. No words, just emotions and impressions; anger at himself for being such a fool, for involving his sister and the guilt she might feel, for failing to seek guidance, for bringing himself such pain, for the distraught tone in his mother’s voice.
That voice, though. It continued to drone on, as only a mother’s voice could, and began to have much the same effect as her skillful hand, “We knew you were working on your wings, of course. What else could explain it the way your wings grew? Oh, honey, I know it hurts… let the pain wash over you, you know how… yes, we knew. We forget sometimes, though, that you are still young. You hold yourself so well, seek wisdom so fervently.”
Her hand began to check his wing joint, his breath caught with a jolt of pain, and she stroked his head more, “Yet, even as you seek wisdom, you run from it; run headlong into challenges which are more than is wise for you to take on. That you succeed so often makes you think you have wisdom in that path, but you do not. We should have seen this coming. No, my baby, relax. I know it hurts, but you must relax, relax everything. Mommy has you. Oh, could I spare you this now.”
She put her hand on a wing, and gently, ever so delicately, helped him relax it and bring it down, “You have no permanent damage, my son, of that we can be thankful. This will heal in time, you will fly. You will fly, and I will be there, and my heart will soar in every wing beat.”
The first of the pounding feet arrived. Sunar closed his eyes, and concentrated on his mother’s words. He heard talking by the adults, but listened only to his mother’s soft encouragement. “You will fly, my son”. At length, a cup was pressed to his lips, and his mother’s promise followed him into darkness.