The collective consciousness of the WeaveMothers sensed the impending change of gears of the Celestial Steam Locomotive.
The train approached a long uphill grade of the current happentrack. The Engineer engaged the lever of night. The passenger continued sleeping. The listener fell into a trance. And the storyteller dreamed for them all.
It was a tale of life on the borderland, of the place which was on neither this side nor the other side of the rainbow.
The WeaveMothers have appeared before. In what passes for chronological order, they are Weaving Reality, Picking up the rhythm, Nebulous answers to cogent questions, Looking back at the present, Diversity, On the Thickness of Skin, Waging Peace, Of the Greataway, a Machine, and WeaveMothers, and On Integrity.
Having read Michael Greatrex Coney's, Song of Earth is also helpful, but not essential. You could just relax and accept the possibility of the Celestial Steam Locomotive passing through the Greataway.
Wind awoke in a different place. Wind's eyes opened and the place became visible. The colors were different. Wind was not sure what they were different from. But Wind was certain they were different. Crisper? Clearer? Brighter? Shifted? Wind tried to remember.
An effort to recollect the before place proved fruitless. In fact, the effort to remember anything was a struggle. There were memories, but they seemed to belong to someone else. Some of them may have been recollections of Wind, but they were not Wind's memories. There were memories of the Others. There were thoughts the Others had about Wind. So Wind knew there was a past place and time. Didn't there have to be?
Wind arose and noticed that the emerald-hued grass rippled. At least emerald was the word that came to mind. And words were present in Wind's thoughts. A look around brought other words into focus. Sky. Hills. The possibility of trees. Nakedness.
Wind's body seemed new. It was not clear what that was compared to. The thoughts of the others did not include memories of bodies. But Wind knew the word and what it represented. Maybe that was a clue.
Wind also remembered how to count. One. Two. Many. Was there another? Were there more?
Wind's eyes closed. Imagine another place. Imagine being there. Concentrate.
Eyes opened to reveal the same place. No movement in space had occurred. Perhaps there had been movement in time. But how could one tell?
If Wind could remember Others, where were they? The compulsion came: find companionship.
Wind made a plan. Choose the highest hill. Walk to the top. See what could be seen.
Wind walked. Emerald gradually changed to wheat and then to ocher and the grass ceded control of the ground. Rocks began to appear here and there. Shades of gray and slate.
Reaching the top of the hill, Wind discovered the Edge. There was no other side of the hill. Wind had come from There to Here along a spiral edge in the rainbow. It seemed a long drop off either side. And there was no certainty that there was anything below except the colors.
There were no instructions on how to proceed. Does one jump off the one side? Does one jump off the other? Does one explore and learn to become comfortable with life on this Edge?
There seemed to be no compulsion other than companionship? But how did one find that? How does one ever find connection to the Others? Will it ever happen again?
Had it ever really happened before?
The Engineer released the lever. The storyteller awoke from the dream. The listener became aware. And the passenger continued to dream. Hence Wind continued to either exist...or to have existed. Or maybe the possibility of Wind existing is what continued.
In the distant reaches of the Greataway, the WeaveMothers imagined a rainbow into the Tapestry.
In an obscure happentrack Sun passed once more over Canyon. A new warmth emerged. Birch And Pine and Eucalyptus and Willow felt the possibility of a new sentience in the herebelow.