Art by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (1921) - “The Water Fairy.”
DRAW YR OWN SELFIE.JPG
child believes that if she smiles big enough she can’t possibly screw it up
We got a little idealist tryin to photosynthesize over here
mymelodyoftheheart said: Here's a question for fun: You and I are at Wizarding School, and we are sitting in the school, waiting for the rain outside to end so we can go on a hike outside. One of our classmates, Aloe, is getting to impaitent for it to end and casted a spell to make the rain stop. It does. After finding out about the spell that changes weather, we decide to control it to help others and ourselves. However, Aloe gets too carried away with it after a while, the spell stops weather altogether. What do we do
Aloe is chagrined to discover that somehow, our irresponsible spell usage manages to cease all movements of air masses and distribute uniform temperature, humidity, and density across the globe (why are they even teaching us crazy kids magic if we’re just gonna upset the earth’s entire delicate balance? seems to happen a lot around here). As Aloe runs off to hide in her room I get the feeling that something can be done about this. You and I go to consult the school librarian who is an expert in all realms literary, legendary, and mystic. “Lovely absence of weather we’re having today eh girls?” he says as he gestures outside to the disturbingly clear, breezeless sky. We chuckle uncomfortably. “Tough crowd. Well I happen to know what you’re here for: to learn the location of the Weather Woman. As a keeper of secret knowledge and an organism dependent on earth’s dynamic cycles, I will happily tell you. There’s a tree in the American Rockies in Montana, quite close to the tree line of Hollowtop Mountain (you’ll want to dress warm; even with the absence of temperature variation the altitude is enough to make it chilly). It’s a modest spruce with a cluster of blue needles towards the bottom. The Weather Woman marked it that way. You’ll find it by following the direction of flying sparrows - they often flock to her tree because she feeds them breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the whole shabang. Now lucky for you guys I am more than proficient in the exquisite art of teleportation magic, so if you get on some coats, hats, and gloves and come back here I can send you straight to the area in question, give or take a few hundred feet, just close enough to read the sparrows.”
We run to our rooms to put on some of our winter garb. We knock on Aloe’s door and ask her if she wants to come. “Leave me alone to diiiiieeeeeee” we hear her groan. That’ll be a no. We hurry back to the library, where the librarian has his wand out and at the ready. He mutters the proper words and we barely hear him tell us “good luck” before we are rushed in a huge gust of space-warp to a crisp alpine area. There are bits of snow on the ground. The sky is achingly blue. The air is a bit thin and we move slowly in order to get used to it. Even then it’s difficult to breathe. We scan the sky for sparrows. Scattered flocks seem to be traveling in a specific direction, which we follow. Their song grows louder and the vegetation grows thinner. We see a lone spruce ahead, covered with sparrows. Myriad birds are gathered on the ground around it to feast on piles of seeds placed there. We see the telltale branch of blue needles and approach, spooking the birds somewhat. We are not sure how to alert the Weather Woman to our presence; she is apparently not here. One dainty female sparrow actually hops out from the multitude and approaches us. Suddenly she transforms into a tiny humanoid figure with blue-green skin whose head barely reaches halfway to our knees. She wears a cozy outfit of brownish feathers. We can’t decide if they are actually clothes or if they grow right out of her skin. She glares up at us with her hands on her hips.
Her voice booms over the cacophany of sparrows. “You had better be important or else I’ll have to bash you both over the head to wipe your memory. I have enough to worry about what with this awful stoppage of weather patterns despite all of our rain dances. Who sent you?” We back away slightly from this formidable woman. We trade looks and I tell her the truth.
"We were sent here by the magic of a librarian who possesses a wealth of arcane knowledge, including how to find you. We and another friend of ours misused a spell for stopping rain, creating the current stagnant conditions, and now we seek your help to restore the weather. Or at least the librarian told us you could."
"If I had the power to reverse the stagnation, I would have done it by now. My sparrows and I have spent hours in the supplication of the rain dance trying to undo your foolish magic thinking it was a dire miscommunication between Sol and Earth’s atmosphere. I will be forced to contact him if this pattern continues, although he shines just as he always does so I can’t imagine he’ll tell me that anything is amiss on his end." Weather Woman looks up towards the midday sun with a grimace and then turns to look at us again with a sigh. "I suppose I should let you two in. We will consult our home star although he’s usually useless for anything besides shining and being self-important." She starts muttering to herself as she waves a hand and a dirt staircase opens up in the ground. We follow her down it. She seals it behind us, cloaking us in darkness until she begins to emit a bright green glow to light the way. We reach her home beneath the spruce tree, a cozy dirt chamber with quaint wooden furniture. Pots and pans hang from the ceiling and bang together as she passes. Also hanging from the ceiling are beautiful little lanterns made of leaves and flower petals. It’s nearly too cozy for us and we have to crouch and move very carefully to avoid destroying the place. We notice a stovetop with a fire pit beneath. Weather Woman waves a hand and conjures large pillows in an empty space nearby. “Please, have a seat.” She sighs. She waves her other hand and starts a fire under the stove.
We watch her sit before the fire pit and make gestures with her arms until the fire is coaxed into a spherical shape hovering above the pit. It resembles the sun. She begins to speak.
"Sol, I need to talk to you. I hope you’re not too busy. It’s an emergency here on Earth." After a few moments, an infinitely calm, deep voice emanates from the fireball.
"I hear you, Weather Woman. I am never too busy to take care of my favorite planet. What is the matter?" We see the slightest indication of Weather Woman rolling her eyes.
"I thought perhaps you would notice that your blue marble has lacked clouds for a few hours. Regardless, I need to know if everything is running smoothly. Are your rays reaching the planet properly?"
"Speak plain to me."
"The weather has stopped due to the activity of a few silly humanoids and I lack the power to undo it. I feel as if there is something wrong with the way you are heating the planet’s surface."
"Nothing is wrong with my radiation. I witness my energy traveling the proper routes and reaching the proper destinations. I do indeed see that there are no clouds in your atmosphere. This is very troubling. You say this was caused by humans? They have not yet evolved to a point where this is possible.” We can tell Weather Woman is suppressing groans.
"Some of them study magic. They toy with it all the time, even the young ones." She throws a glare at us. The sun chuckles softly and Weather Woman’s face reddens with fury.
"Well that is news to me. Unfortunately I do not think I can help you. I am stuck here and my practice of magic is very limited outside of my regular duties. However I believe there are ways to counteract such powerful sorcery and restart the weather cycle. Do you remember your years of study? There must be something."
"I don’t know. I just don’t know. I will do my best and I will get back to you if I fail so that you can assign me to another doomed rock." Weather Woman has her hands in her hair, pulling in frustration.
"No planet is doomed. Good luck little one." The fireball then plummets back into the pit, throwing a few small sparks upon landing. Weather Woman groans for an excessively long time as she stands and glares at us again.
"You don’t know how many times I’ve had to skip planets because the dominant species got too smart and sent everything to hell." She mutters. "It’s almost like all my dubious last resorts aren’t even worth trying. They
let you get too smart. Too damn spiritual too. Everything ends in infinite suffering and emptiness. I really thought this time would be different…” She pulls a chair out from underneath her little wooden table and sits, letting her body relax completely. She looks incredibly deflated, then her eyes water and she begins to cry.
We look at each other, unsure of how to comfort her. You lean forward to say, “Please try one of these last resorts for us. Not only us, but all the trees and the sparrows and everything else that needs there to be change. We need humidity, we need storms, we need rain. We need clouds and sunny days and snow sometimes. We need everything in between too. Or else everything will die.”
She whips around and sobs at us, “Why should I help you? Why should I attempt a single cloud for you silly humans? You and the other Sentients ruin everything. You could have done amazing things. You could have
harnessed the energy of every star in your galaxy. None of you dunce collectives have figured it out. Nearly fourteen billion of your years and…”
"…and nobody has figured out how to be omniscient," I interrupt. "I think that’s asking a bit much from us. Do you know how we feel when we stare up at the night sky, left clear by Sol’s absence from our side of the Earth? We feel overwhelmed. We feel taken over by the sublime and we have just begun to learn that our purpose is to be the mind of the universe feeling wonder at itself. And do you know how it feels to be approached with the uncertain nature of death? We do all of these things, sometimes the same things the other animals do, but the gaping void, the knowledge that every single one of us will die someday, scares the living crap out of us. Death renders our efforts essentially meaningless. Sol’s nova eons from now will seal that fate. This even frightens the ones that believe there’s something after. No matter how hard you believe, the unknown will get inside you somehow. What else don’t we know? We don’t know how to get off this planet and live somewhere else, or even if there is somewhere else. We don’t know how to live in harmony with our only known home. Hell, we don’t even know how to live in harmony with each other. But the point is we’re learning how to do these things and we are capable of immense love for each other, ourselves, and everything, just as Sol holds his planets in orbit and our atoms hold together and an apple falls to earth. You may claim we are allowed to grow too intelligent for our own good but the truth is we’re still animals, still little children that are programmed to want a fighting chance and despite our troublesome fears and mistakes, we learn lessons, act on our curiosity and pursue the highest good. To let something so beautiful die in its infancy if you have the means to prevent it is a terrible waste.”
Weather Woman stares at us with knotted brow. She whispers, “What do you think are the three most beautiful earthly entities?”
I reply, “A rock, a flower, and a goose.”
You reply, “a tree, a cat, and a piece of blank paper.”
Weather Woman wipes her eyes. “All right. I…I’ll try. I suppose I must make the effort for my sparrows. You’re right. Love is all. I should have remembered this.” She gets up with effort. “We must proceed outside.” She opens the staircase again and we follow her up into the light of day. The sparrows still sing, although they seem quieter and a bit confused. It seems they have begun to notice that something is wrong. We wonder if
any meteorologists have started to panic.
Weather Woman stands in an open area some distance from her tree. The tough mountain grass crunches under our feet. We watch her raise her arms to the sky. She turns back to look at us.
"I’m sorry if this doesn’t work. Like I said, these are last resort methods and they are not reliable. I am going to attempt forming a small low pressure area by creating an isolated vacuum. If it is big enough, a density difference will manifest. Then I must gather some of this water vapor together and direct some of Sol’s heat over here, which will allow this little air mass to rise and form a cloud. It needs to be big enough though. Usually I have a lot more to work with…with this kind of magic my job is to maintain, not to create…” As she speaks her arms move vigorously and the air around her seems to shimmer. We watch her pushing and pulling with some effort as if she is fighting some invisible force. Sweat beads on her skin.
She stops on one gesture, with one arm extended to her left and her other arm pulled back as if she is trying to shoot a bow and arrow. She appears to be struggling to pull something out of a socket, like a cork from a bottle. “Please please please please…” we hear her mutter. We hold our breaths. Suddenly we hear a sound like a crack of thunder as she releases her pose and exhales in relief. She doubles over to rest her hands on her knees and peers up at the sky. We see a little swirling misty mass, maybe the size of a school bus, gather momentum in the air above us and rise. It grows a little bit and seems to be pushed along by the slightest rush of air into the low pressure area.
"I put a dent in the uniformity. This should exaggerate. I might travel to other regions and do something like this, but bigger, just to make sure. It was a little easier than I imagined it would be. Although ripping out that gap in the structure of your magic was difficult. What a sturdy, pervasive web you built in your negligence. Maybe apply this knowledge to other areas of study and you’ll get a bit closer to that highest good you were talking about.” She gives us a smirk, waves her hand, and all of her sparrows congregate around us in a vast flock. They grab hold of our clothes in their little talons and lift us off the ground. Weather Woman waves goodbye and calls up to us as we ascend, “It was nice meeting you. Maybe I’ll have you over for lunch sometime.”
We wave goodbye to her and are efficiently whisked back to school, enjoying a lovely view on the way. By the time the sparrows deposit us on the lawn our ears are ringing with the lingering vibrations of their strident song. Over the next few days we watch the skies and the doppler radar obsessively. We get Aloe to watch with us. In three days’ time, the winds return to rustle through the trees, mess up our hair, and convince us that the cycle has reestablished itself.
They made me do a poster at school