Follow the Star
The stars, that nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps with everlasting oil, give due light to the misled and lonely traveler.
Daughter, sister, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.
Paraphrased from Victor Hugo
They walked together along the island's shore, arm in arm, the Valiant Queen and the Star. Cool sand filled the spaces between their toes. The wind swept their hair into salty tangles of mingled gold and red.
"I know from my world a story of three Kings who once followed a Star," Lucy said on an evening as they sat together on spray soaked rocks and watched Liliandil's family rise in the sky.
The Star concluded her song of greeting. "Not two Kings and a Queen?" Liliandil asked.
"No, three Kings, bearing gifts."
The Star twirled the waters in a tidal pool with her fingers and glittering light spun around in a tight whirl. Tiny creatures emerged from the crevices with fanning tendrils to capture what the Star stirred in the salt water. "Surely this is a shortcoming, that there were kings but no queens," Liliandil replied. "Perhaps it is not a very good story?"
Lucy watched the light and water mix and spin out from the Star's hand.
"No, it is a good story. But, different."
Liliandil withdrew her hand from the waters and waved it in a rainbow of light. Lucy caught the Star's hand gently in her own, like a butterfly.
"What will you do now?" Lucy asked. It seemed that Liliandil's task, like her own, was complete. The Star had brought them to the Dark Island. Together they had defeated the evil that had lurked behind the mist. Now, they tarried at the Sweet Sea of the World's End, awaiting the partings that were to come. Lucy knew her time was short, that there were things that had to be done, that Aslan waited for her. And, beyond the Lion, there was the other world to which she belonged but did not yet fit, like a pair of shoes too big that she must grow into. Again.
"With the mist gone, will you guide other travelers?"
Liliandil looked out over the water to where The Dawn Treader moored. "No, I must join the ship and sail to Narnia."
"And leave the skies?"
Surely such a sundering would be as painful to Liliandil as Lucy's own farewell to Narnia. Lucy held the Star's light in her hand, wishing to clasp it tightly in her own. But, light, like water, would slip away in too firm a grasp. Light would do what it willed. One cupped light, stirred it, mingled with it, bathed in it, reveled in it. One did not clutch light for it would depart when it was time and no force could contain it.
"I must follow her," the Star said. "We battled long here on the Eastern Sea. I know her. She is angry. She will come again, in a new form, in a new way. She will hide, in dark places, and I must search for her there."
Liliandil's light flowed away from their perch on the rocks to dance upon the water of the still bay. Floating from the ship, they could just hear the piping flutes of the Faun sailor as he played and swung from the rigging.
Lucy's heart yearned to follow the Star, back to Narnia, for another adventure, and another after that, for years without end. The growl she heard told a different tale. "I wish I could go with you. But, I must return to my round world, where there are no Stars to follow."
The Star frowned and it was like a cloud crossing the sun. "But my Queen, why must you follow anything? Or anyone?"
Lucy carelessly kicked spray into the bay with her toes. Her splashes were illuminated in starlight. "I am not a Queen there, my friend. Not as I am here, at least."
"Perhaps," Liliandil said. "Yet, we know what Aslan would say and, in this, I agree with him."
"Aslan is in my world," Lucy had to concede. "But, he is not a Lion there, any more than I am a Queen." Lucy felt the pain rise knowing how hard it would all be. She would be a child, again, trapped in her child's body, again. She would always be looking for Aslan's gentle presence and compassionate words and she would not find him in the dark, damp churches, nor in the narrow minds and shallow platitudes of the men who preached in them.
"And the stars of my world are not as they are here," Lucy whispered. "Our stars are cold and far away."
"If they are so cold and distant, I would not wish to be such a star," Liliandil said.
The Star cupped Lucy's face in her brilliant light and brushed away the tears that Lucy knew she should not shed but could not help. "No matter the time or the distance or the worlds, you shall always be my Queen Lucy."
"And I will always look for the Star," Lucy told her, opening gratefully to the generous warmth that would flicker and burn away the dark places.
The light flowed from the Star, enveloping them both in a luminous blaze of brilliant color.
"My Queen, have you not said that your very name means light?"
"It does," Lucy told the Star, now smiling. "But I am not a star in my world, either."
"Lucy, you say there are no stars for you to follow. And I say, that you are a light yourself that shines as brilliantly as the brightest of the stars in the Narnian sky. If you lead, your people will follow such a Star as you."
Rthstewart, December 2010
For the lovely women who I have come to know through the Narnia fic and fandom of the last two years. Thank you my friends for a wonderful journey.
By the Lion, I have written movie-verse. This is temporary. Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate the feast of the birth of a Jewish carpenter who taught a message of peace and compassion. And for those of you who do not, may you enjoy a restful and lovely day and a wondrous New Year.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Excerpt from the Canticle of All Creatures, St. Francis of Assisi