Building community and heart into the Firefly 'verse
I thought the sandstorm which has been blowing over the Free Port had calmed down a bit. So the day after Grading Day, I thought we could hold another open house as a sort of celebration for all the aclytes and their hard work and their new gradings.
OK, it wasn't exactly high summer, but Lotus Dragon House is in the lee of a nice large hillock which seemed to help keep the worst of the storm of us - I mean seriously you do not want to go down the main - well, only - street without scarf and veil and gloves and coverings of pretty much anywhere else your skin might show and even so the sand gets in your un gets everywhere, and it's a nightmare getting rid of it afterwards. But it's ever so pretty to look at and there are little flame things which dance and swirl in the shadow of one of our walls.
So we set out everything and sent out invites, warning about sandstorms and reminding everyone not to use the desert till the troubles there have died down.
And it was wonderful, quite a few people managed to get here, even the day after Grading Day. And so did Lily. I am really going to have to have a word with her about that rifle thing she's toting around now. And so did this guy called Austin who looked very lounge lizardy. Lily has met him before, though I got the impression it was a 'had a run in with' sort of meeting.
And he's so sure of himself. Oh, he's building an energy plant or something in the desert, and according to Lily the desert born are looking out for it, but I think that's more due to him providing water, than understanding the desert born who he seems to regard as really not worth bothering with. And he's under the fond illusion that 2 foot thick walls including one foot of reinforced steel are safe against any sort of attack. I saw sandworms once. That'd just be roughage to help them digest their breakfast.
And then he really upset Lily by driving off over the sand. OK, not the brightest thing to do in a sandstorm, but what happened next made no sense. The storm got worse, and there were literally tongues of fire coming down from the air. Fortunately not at us, but I was beginning to think we'd have to go back inside when it calmed down again.
Lily said he'd upset the spice.
How on Earth-that-was can you upset spice? If I was spice I'd be more upset by people mining me all the time. It can't possibly be alive so how can it get upset. Which reminds me, I really need to talk to Lily about that gun she insists on toting round with here. I'm sure it has to be the same height as her.
I wonder if I'll see him again. Driving in a storm like that is not,to the best of my knowledge anyway, a great survival trait.
I did manage to get a picture of everyone after Lily left, and you can see the lovely glow of the domes opposite, though not the little fire elemental things and very fortunately not the gouts of flame from - from whatever it was that caused them.
Which reminds me, for a little while, everyone has been calling the Priestesses "My Lady". I found this astonishingly confusing. The first few times, I couldn't help looking round to see who the Lady was who was standing behind me. Goddess knows, if anyone looked at my past, 'Lady' is the last word that would come to mind (unless it was joined by 3 friends, 'Of', 'Negotiable' and 'Virtue'). I think I'm coping better with it now, but I still sometimes get this almost overpowering impulse to turn!
And of course, I have to wonder why this is happening. If it is a sign of respect for the office of Priestess, that is a good thing, though I hope they remember that Priestesses are human beings too (or a dragon in one case, I suppose) and don't build the holder of the office into something that she's not, because that would be sad. It worries me it might too put an artificial barrier up, people forgetting that in our time we were acolytes and trainees too. and yes, we (or at least, I) have done very silly things. I hope they remember that we've been through it all too - scraped knees, bruised egos, pain and tears, confusion. so we know what it's like. And we aren't here to laugh or mock but to hold and guide.
And we'll be here with and for our family, and I couldn't imagine any other life (even though I'd never imagined being a Priestess!)