Story Time: The Stars

From time to time, I will share short stories I have created to go along with images here. This image was created in collaboration with Thomas Ridgway. I have never met him in person, but it’s definitely a bucket list item. He lives in the UK, and is a brilliantly talented artist and storyteller. It was a challenge to find a way to do a collaboration from across the pond, so to speak, but we managed and I am very excited about this one. You can see Tom’s amazing work here at https://www.ridgwayimagery.com

The Stars

“Mother,” asked the young boy, “where do the stars come from?”

Mother was wise, the village medicine woman and seer, and she knew all of the tales of their lands. He knew he would get an answer from her about those glimmering shards of soul in the sky.

She leaned forward from her seat beneath the canopy of their small hut and looked up at the sky. As she did, a shooting star crossed their vision.

“Mother, look!” exclaimed the boy.

“That is how it begins,” she explained. “Stars fall from the sky to earth, and they wander the edges of our lands…”

“But that’s how a star would end!” protested her son, before she could finish the legend.

“That may be how it ends for one star, but no thing can truly become nothing. There is no true end at all.”

The boy stared into her enlightened face, his eyes twinkling in anticipation.

“Stars fall, and they roam the earth. They seek to find another like themselves, another star that has descended from its place in the sky.

Upon finding each other, Magic opens their hearts and spills the rest of their star stuff into the space between them. It sparks and fuses and flies into the heavens. From their endings, a new beginning for a bright star.”

“That sounds scary. Are the stars frightened when their hearts open?”

“Every star creature knows it must come to an end for a new star to begin,” Mother explains. “It is the cycle. Beginning to end to beginning. On and on.”

“Have you ever met a fallen star?” the boy asked.

“Fallen stars look like you and me, but we cannot see their true nature because we do not come from the sky. We are creatures of the earth. But perhaps a traveler that has passed through seeking aid is really a star on his way to find another.”

“I would keep the star by my cot,” said the boy. “Maybe it would light a bit in the dark.”

“Oh, we mustn’t. If we kept all the fallen stars, the sky would go dark. The moon would be so lonely she may well fall from the sky herself.”

Thinking about his love of the moon, the boy conceded that keeping fallen stars wouldn’t be prudent.

“Every creature is on a journey,” Mother said. “You, me, your friends, and even stars. No one journey is more important than another. So we will give aid to any creature – star or earth – that crosses our threshhold.”

He nodded slightly and stared at the sky, as the stars watched and listened to Mother’s story, too. In a quick flash, another star shot through the sky.

“I hope they find each other,” he said.

“They will,” Mother reassured. “Now, off to bed with you, my love. The hour is late.”

He leapt into his bed and fell fast into dreams of stars and Magic.

Fallen Stars, 2020. Collaboration with Thomas Ridgway (Berkshire, UK)

All text copyright Jennifer Esneault.


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