Language Lessons

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Language Lessons 
By Lisa Kessler


My warmest evening greetings to you, Lucius, 
as well as anyone else who may be reading 
this account. 
I wanted to chronicle the events surrounding my 
recent "secret admirer". 
I know that these modern times have been difficult
for you, my friend, and I hope that my tale might 
ease your spirit and maybe even bring hope back 
into your immortal heart. 

I also battled loneliness and boredom. 
Finding a reason to awaken each night became 
difficult for me. 
After centuries on this earth, I could no longer 
find any mystery in the world around me. 
I caught myself doing the same things night after 
night.

What is the mortal saying? 
Variety is the spice of life? 
Well, my friend, I was a woman without variety 
and I was suffocating in the monotony of it all. 
That is until one night in February when I found 
an anonymous gift at my door.
I remember that night with such clarity. 

The water was cold when it spilled over the sides 
of the vase and onto my fingertips. 
I should have been watching the water rise, 
but I couldn't take my eyes off of the flowers.

They were lying on my doorstep when I awoke that 
night with a card that read:

There is a language, little known,
Lovers claim it as their own.
It's symbols smile upon the land,
Wrought by nature's wondrous hand;
and in their silent beauty speak,
Of life and joy, to those who seek.
For love divine and sunny hours,
In the language of the flowers. - Anonymous

I poured some of the water back into the sink, 
and quickly placed the flowers inside of the vase. 
They were so beautiful, with their happy little 
bursts of color and bright yellow centers. 
I had seen these flowers on occasion when I 
traveled along the western coast of America, 
but I couldn't recall their name. 
They looked like hundreds of small daisies.

The gift lightened my spirits, but it was the 
card that intrigued me. 
My anonymous gift giver challenged me 
with the verse. 
Over the millennia I have lived, I have mastered
many languages, but the language of the flowers? 
Could there be such a thing?

For the first time in years, Lucius, a challenge 
was laid before me, a mystery to be solved. 
With the vase of flowers centered on my table, 
I hurried out into the night. 
Excitement and intrigue fed my mind instead of 
blood. I could always feed later. 
For now, I rushed to the local library. 
After a brief mental coaxing of the guard, he let 
me inside of the building and locked the door 
behind me to assure that I would not be disturbed.

Within a few moments, I was searching through the 
botanic encyclopedia for the name of the flowers 
I received. 
Quickly I found a photo of the tiny bright 
yellow blooms. 
My anonymous friend had left me Aster flowers. 
They were in fact, from California.

The note had mentioned the "language" of the 
flowers, so what did Asters mean? 

I wandered the aisles until I found a small 
leather bound book without any of 
the library's markings on its binding.

Carefully, I slid it from the shelf and felt my 
pulse quicken when I saw the title read 
"The Language of the Flowers".

Oh Lucius, I wish I could describe how alive I 
felt at that moment! 
A delicious feeling of purpose washed over me. 

For the first time in years I was learning again, 
and living in the process.

 I carried the book back to my reading table and 
thumbed through the old pages in search of 
Aster flowers. 

A smile crept across my lips when I discovered 
that an Aster flower was a symbol. 
Asters represented love.

Who would go all the way to California to bring me
flowers as a symbol of love, and then leave them 
secretly at my door? 

Of course I thought for a moment of my Dante, 
but then I knew it couldn't be him.
Our love was timeless, yes, but over the centuries
we had grown apart. 

He was my maker, my one true love of an endless 
lifetime, but he hadn’t been my partner in 
over one hundred years. 

When I struggled with boredom and contemplated 
walking into the sun,I didn’t even know where 
to find him.

Either way, Dante had never been a sentimental man, 
and never with flowers. 
But if not him, then who?

The following night, I rushed from my resting 
place as soon as the sun began to set, 
intent on catching sight of my admirer. 
To my surprise, I found that a new flower was 
already waiting for me on the doorstep. 
No immortal could have come and gone so quickly, 
the sun was still setting.
So the mystery of my admirer's identity continued.

I brought the new yellow flower inside, 
instantly recognizing it as a single Daffodil. 

Another card was attached that read:

Daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares,
and take The winds of March with beauty.
 - Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale

The scent of the flower took me back to my mortal 
home.
I remember walking through the marketplace in 
Rome as a girl.
The smell of Daffodils perfumed the air.
In those days, it was believed that the sap from 
the flower would help to heal wounds,
so many of the merchants had the bright yellow 
flowers for sale in their booths.
But I fear I am losing myself in the fond memories.

Again, I withdrew the book of flowers and looked up 
the Daffodil. 
I felt breathless for a moment when 
I read the words in the book. 

The Daffodil did have a meaning...
"the sun always shines when I am with you".

Considering that I have not seen the sun in a 
millennia, the words held an even deeper meaning 
and affection for me.
I placed the Daffodil into the vase in the center 
of the cluster of Asters.
The yellow of the Daffodil brought out the tiny 
yellow centers of the Asters, making a delightful 
arrangement that reminded me of the impending 
spring.
I couldn't help but smile each time my eyes fell 
upon the vase.
I looked forward to waking each night as my 
"language lessons" continued.

My vase now contained Amaranth, 
symbolizing immortality and undying love; 
white and red carnations, 
symbolizing pure and deep love, 
and finally 
a single red rose, 
meaning perpetual love. 

I tell you, Lucius, I couldn't take my eyes away 
from the beauty in that vase.

Last night I received Ambrosia blooms with a note 
attached which read:

Love is like a river without end.
It flows and changes only to return again
to the source of its strength
the heart of its power
To the one whose love turns bud into flower.

After nearly a week of flowers, prose, and hidden 
meanings, I still hadn’t caught sight of my 
admirer or deciphered the gift giver's identity. 
But when I opened the book and looked up the 
Ambrosia, it was suddenly clear to me.

I felt alive with anticipation and desire. 
When would he come to me? Where would we meet? 
I rushed out of my home to feed and shop for new 
clothing, leaving the book open on the table to 
the Ambrosia flower. 
The Ambrosia 
symbolized old love returning.

Tonight I received the seventh and final addition 
to my bouquet. 
Tonight I added the tiny red Viscaria flowers 
to my vase. 
I stood back and admired the beauty that bloomed 
and lit up the room with its color. 
The meaning of the Viscaria was simple. 
"Dance with me."

Why am I sharing this story with you, my friend? 
Simply, because until recently, I lost my faith in 
love and romance. 
Eternal life became a monotonous chore until 
someone took the time to teach me this new language.

Only love can make eternity bearable, and love is 
still out there. 
Even for beings such as we, my friend. 
Eternally, Maya

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Epilogue:

The air was electric as I stepped into the warm 
dance club. 
So many thoughts from the mortals around me 
assaulted my mind that I quickly built a mental 
wall, silencing the chaos. 
Scanning the crowd of writhing bodies, I saw him 
standing at the bar.

His ice blue eyes locked with mine from across the 
room, and the intensity smoldering in them left my 
ancient knees weak. 
I watched him swim through the sea of mortals, 
never allowing his gaze stray from mine.

His strong arms caught my waist and drew me close 
as his lips met mine in a hungry kiss. 
I could hear my heart pounding in my ears as his 
familiar scent lit the fire of my thirst. 
His fingers tangled in the back of my hair and my 
body responded. 
How had I survived so long without his touch?

Pulling back from the kiss, I caressed his cheek 
as I whispered, 
"Dante. It is you. 
After all these years, you are still my Dante…"

He nodded, his lips brushing against my ear as he 
whispered, 
"Always, my love. 
No one else will ever own my heart as you do. 
I love you, Maya.” 

He drew back, his eyes searching mine as he took 
my hand. 
“Come, dance with me..."

~~The End~~

(For Marvin we had Walking on sunshine, a weeping 
willow tree & Schmo was my invented word.)
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