So much poison in power, the principles get left out
So much mind on the matter, the spirit gets forgotten about
Like a righteous inspiration overlooked in haste
Like a teardrop in the ocean, a diamond in the waste
Some world-views are spacious
And some are merely spaced
--Grand Designs, Power Windows, Rush
Lirssa sat on the floor in the living room of the foster home. Marigold and Padraig, sister and brother (though the surrounding community called them spinster and widower), were the first of Lirssa's foster parents. Their home was comfortable, with enough room for four children, and they never were without the sound of footsteps or wings about the home.
This was the last house to visit. She had started with the larger homes, High Spires and Summerlane, to spend time with the children and the parents, explain without detail what had happened, and reassure them of her well being. Being back in the city only the second day, she was reassuring herself as well.
"Why did they think you were dead?" Colby asked while digging for whatever was irritating his nose.
With a gentle hand, she encouraged Colby to give up his excavation for the moment, then handed him a tissue from a box on the nearby table. "There was nothing to tell them differently. Space is huge. Really huge. My ship was not working and was hidden by other objects. No one could see me unless they nearly ran into my ship." It was not entirely accurate, but explaining to children about electromagnetism and the wide spectrum of wavelengths radiation impacted was just not necessary.
"That's what happened?" Rollo hissed the 's' as his nostrils flared in excitement. The dragonkin child was crawling up close and sniffing at her. "You smell funny."
Lirssa's brows rose. "Bad funny?" That certainly was worrying.
He sniffed again. "Nope." But gave nothing more and sat back again, nearly running into Ameline who was brushing her long, gray hair.
"Careful, Rollo." Lirssa reached out to adjust his position slightly so Ameline could stop frowning at him. "Now, I should go on my way so you all can get back to classes."
"Or you could stay," Ameline suggested with the bright smile and a flare of the luminescent freckles along her pale cheeks.
Lirssa scrunched up her mouth and shook her head. "No getting out of classes just because I'm visiting. I will be back to visit again soon."
The children were all suddenly very silent. They looked from one to another and then back to her. The realization of their worry caught in her chest. "Oh, say now, you know that you're safe no matter if I'm here or not, right? People stepped in as I knew they would."
It was Rebecca that spoke up. She had been silent, sitting slightly apart, and fidgeting with the hem of her shirt. The eldest of the current fosters in this house, she had also been there the longest. "But you are the one that found us," she whispered, barely looking up through her amber lashes.
Each of the children Lirssa guided to a home, or found a forever family for, held a special place in her memory. The connection formed from months of reassurance. She wanted to indulge in that loyalty, to wrap it around her as protection -- and power. But it would not do. "Yes, Rebecca, that is true. But that is just one part of the path you are on. I am a gateway, but not an anchor. You, every one of you, will always be a part of me, and I hope I will be a part of you, but that does not change if I am gone -- or you move on." The last she said as she looked at Rebecca with a fond smile.
It was time to get back to it all.