The day had really turned into a fantastic afternoon, one of those to write of, where the sun shines, and wind caresses, one of those days where everything seems to be going amazingly. Branch sat at a spring, it bubbled from the bottom of a hill. It was a nice spot, he stopped here every time he traveled east. The spring drew itself from it’s underground reservoir into a small pool, it was fresh and clean and the kind of water that really left you satisfied. The hill rose up behind him, and the spring, tall trees climbed it, great towering oak and birch trees. Only a few of the evergreens had found a rooting there. The trail he followed, a little fork in the road that led back to the main road a few miles up, passed by just a few steps from where he was.
The spring was one of those spots. The slightly hidden kind, the almost secret places of beauty. The kind of place that took a little energy to get to, where it took effort and time, but was worth it. He relaxed and took a few bites from a trail cake, that Estelle makes. It was dry but not hard – so it would last, and had little morsels cooked into it, making it both hearty and delicious. Branch also drank his fill of water, such a splendid source of fresh water wasn’t always easily found.
There were a lot of reasons why he stopped here, mainly though, it was because of how it made him feel. Oh! How it felt to lay there, back on the hill, fresh spring beside him, trees overhead, the sounds of a forest drifting by, worries left on the road. It passed by quicker than he could have liked, suddenly his time there was over, and his feet found him walking on into the forest. The Timberlands where huge. They stretched on for months of walking, endless towering evergreens, he had spent some time in them searching for a lost city, him and Trent. That had been early in his apprenticeship.
Branch spent each day focusing his attention and state into a light and buoyant form, and each night practicing and working with a growing. He had to start over each night, he hadn’t found a way to suspend it, to keep it from unraveling the second his attention turned. It was good practice, but mostly it was infuriating. Sometimes a random noise from the forest would snatch his focus and cause him to drop the growth. Ten days in and he hadn’t been able to get another growth to work. He sat there beside his fire, well, really, he lay there staring up through the forest canopy.
He was missing something, or…something. Maybe he was afraid of it, afraid of the failing, or of the succeeding, or the responsibility. Regardless, he knew, he was holding himself back, faltering somewhere. It didn’t happen by accident, or on its own. Somewhere he already knew the needs and wants of a growth, the environment and state and feeling that was needed was buried somewhere. He just needed to grow used to it, grow closer to the growth.
He laughed. Sometimes the way it worked was confusing, frustrating, it was fascinating. During his walk he figured, he had found the growing because he was fascinated.
The crackling of his fire was soft and inviting, but with the quiet of the night around, he heard it clearly and loudly. He was getting closer to Clarity, he had decided to pass the river north along the Rangforne mountains, the trip was a couple of days shorter. A sigh escaped through his breath. It left a small trail of mist, even in the warmer nearing days of spring it was still cool on the mountainside, it watched as it dissipated into the cool air.