Both figuratively and literally, the world of Andira is a very real place. Indeed, Andira owes much of its inspiration to places I have been. Below is a collection of photography, meant to evoke, at least in part, the beauty and magic of Andira.
A new consciousness arose. Now Andira has a will of its own.
It does not trust you, my children.
Brother Sun rose above the jagged, wooden edge of the village palisade, sending his bleached rays of light across the frozen fields … On the morning of the Winter Solstice, his light was pale and weak. The air was frigid. The hard soil was lifeless.
Dusk gathered. Darkness expanded between the trunks of the trees … snow draped the forest in a deathly silence. Seeing a cacophony of tracks on the ground, Seraphus knelt, placed a hand on the chaotic impressions in the snow … and understood.
The owl soared over the clearing and out of sight, leaving him alone with the ravenous wolves.
The sky turned black.
The night roared.
In his mind he heard a deep, gravelly voice say, I am coming for you.
Darkness took him.
He started a new carving for Serena’s flute – of a Terrapin, as thanks for saving his leg.
“Aren’t you a Guardian?” Seraphus protested. “Aren’t you supposed to help my people?”
“A Guardian? Of my stream, perhaps,” Témoth replied.
The first golden rays of Brother Sun were shining and streaming through breaks in the clouds … The night creatures had fallen silent, and now birds were taking wing and singing to the dawn. Squirrels chattered. Chipmunks squeaked and chased themselves through the underbrush. Two redbirds twittered and tumbled from one tree to the next, adding their voices to the growing chorus. It was a symphony in Seraphus’ ears, and the panorama before him filled him with a humble awe.
That is why we dance and celebrate Sister Moon this, the Winter Solstice, when, like the night, the darkness holds its greatest sway over Andira. She and her Many Eyes help us stay in control and keep us in the light.
In his mind he saw himself as a hawk, soaring far above the world of Andira … He looked down and saw the Barrier that separated the Seven Villages, aligned in the image of the Celestial Hunter, from the vast wastelands of Andira beyond.
My dear children, spread no more darkness across our world. Stay behind the Barrier Mountains surrounding our villages. Beyond them dwell the deadly relics of your parents’ forbidden magic. The Seven Villages … will keep you safe.
The Mountain of Mohan
Before him stretching upward, was the imposing mountain of Mohan.
The first golden rays of Brother Sun were shining and streaming through breaks in the clouds, illuminating the higher, jagged peaks. High above, and out of sight, an eagle cried.
Scanning a nearby tree, Seraphus found [the jaguar] resting comfortably.
The Great Conjunction
Eliana breathed in the perfumed air, exhaled, and said, “I don’t think I can describe it. I sense emotions from everywhere. The rocks and trees, the squirrels and butterflies, they all seem so content. At peace. In balance.”
The Edge of the World
On the other side of The Barrier, he saw the high, sheer ridge that was called the Edge of the World. It fell away to a vast plain that seemed nearly as desolate and gray as the one he had created on Mohan.
The Lonely Tree
Seraphus saw a lone tree leaning over the edge. He walked over to it and sat down, letting his legs dangle above the smoking plain far below.
They clasped hands and watched the plain burning. Smoke choked the sun.
The Forbidden Road
The Forbidden Road began as a dark, angled passage through sheer cliffs of The Barrier.