Her hands reached up and grabbed the strings. She yanked them as hard as she could, each string snapping until she fell to the floor with a thud.
She stood and ran as fast as she could to the shadows of the forest. Once deep within the forest she became enchanted with the things she saw around her. She wandered aimlessly through the trees, collecting beautiful things—a flower, a pebble, a feather from a bird that had sung to her.
The broken strings dragged on the ground behind her—the strings which had once bound her to the puppet masters of her life.
She braided each beautiful thing she had found into the strings so that they too could become a thing of beauty.
Over the years her quest for beauty took her to many places, and she had collected many beautiful things. So many that the braided strings could no longer be seen.
One night she came to the stream as the full moon showered her with her light. The girl peered into the stream and admired all the beautiful things she had collected. She sighed for as beautiful as these things were, she could still feel the tug of the strings.
She sat by the stream, the moonlight pouring over her, as she took the braid into her hand. She pulled a flower from the braid and threw it into the stream. She felt a little lighter. So she pulled another and with a little more purpose then the last, she threw it to the stream. Lighter again.
One by one she began tossing all the beautiful things she had collected into the stream until there was one little trinket left—a feather from a bird that had once sung to her. She pulled the feather from the braided strings and threw it to the stream.
The feather softly fell and as it landed with the slightest touch on the waters surface the strings disintegrated in her hands.
She peered once again into the stream and gasped.
A beautiful woman stared back at her. The woman in the water smiled.
The girl sat at the waters edge for a little while, admiring the beauty of the woman’s face. She admired the wisdom, the kindness and the strength in the woman’s eyes. And slowly as recognition dawned upon her she felt love growing from within her chest.
The longer she sat admiring the face, the stronger the love grew. The love became so powerful that it surged through her whole being.
She gave her reflection one final smile and rose to her feet. She looked to the moon, she laughed and she set off running.
She had no destination only the joy of love in her heart and wind in her hair.
Author: Jaymie Faber
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Dianne Lacourciere/Flickr