The Thawing Kingdom

By: Lana Semakova

The pastels of spring were beginning to spread across the forest as the patches of snow melted into streams. Nature’s orchestra simmered beneath the sound of my steps on fallen branches and leaves.  I’d always loved this time of year. It prompts rediscovery. Winter tends to cover things and waits silently for the arrival of more transparent days. Today, it was finally sunny again. In this light, the woods seemed more alive than ever before. I stood in a mystical kingdom. I looked up at a tall tree on the top of which something shimmered. I wondered whether it was the joyful bugs or birds or fairies waking up from their long slumber. I thought to myself, it must be nice to be a fairy; to have wings and wake up only when the cold is over.


I grew still to appreciate it all, when I noticed a high pitched noise ringing in the back of my mind. A terrible hum, similar to that of a bee. The sound was fragile but constant and made me feel restless, or angry, or both. I continued walking, pushing my focus towards the green beauty around me instead of the ringing, but it was persistent. The farther I walked, the louder the sound became and the more it transitioned into a physical sting that spread around my neck. I sped up. Perhaps there was something following me or hunting me for disturbing their morning peace. I hadn’t done anything wrong, but it felt like punishment. No matter how fast I ran or how forcefully I cupped my hands over my ears, the noise wouldn’t leave me. It was a battle between me and this ringing and the wonderful music of spring I wished I could hear. 


Out of breath, I halted my running and I twisted my head to look at my long trail of footsteps I had created in the name of confusion. I walked back to where the sound first started, onto the patches of effervescent snow and towards the tree I had been standing under. I looked around for a clue, something, anything that I might have done to trigger it. There was nothing there but my footprints. I had given up. My eyes were wet and the back of my neck shone from the sting. I leaned down to sit down on a fallen branch, when I noticed the ringing crescendo from under it. I lowered my ear to the snow and crouched down. It was there. I scraped the snow out of the way to see a fairy lay immobile on the ground. She was painted blue by the winter’s cold. Her left wing was stuck under the branch that I had been sitting on. When I picked her up in my hands, she was as small as my finger and looked so fragile and cold. The message in her eyes spoke of agony and confusion, as if asking me how the winter could have been so ruthless and why I didn’t notice her earlier.


I took out a handkerchief and a hot bottle of tea out of my backpack. I sat her down on the branch, wrapped her in the pink fabric and poured some of the tea into the bottle cap. I poured some in my own cup and sat down next to her. The ringing had stopped a while ago, but I had been too busy taking care of her to notice. She didn’t speak. I felt guilty of having left her there under the branch, though I knew that I wouldn’t have found her if I hadn’t continued walking. She moved a little bit closer to me and leaned her head on my leg. I told myself that when she warmed up and her wing healed, she would return to the top of the tree to rejoin her family. I would continue walking along my path. But for now, we sat together, watching the kingdom thaw and listening to the springtime orchestra.

The blue fairy is an analogy for the inner-child. To learn more about this topic, check out these sources:

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