My Leap Day ficlet

Writ­ten today, the 29th of February:

She plant­ed the seed and wait­ed. After a while rain came down from the sky, pelt­ing her skin, chill­ing her. She shiv­ered but did­n’t leave, not yet.

The Sun came out, warm­ing the soil, dri­ving the cold from her bones. She wait­ed. Clouds scud­ded by over­head, in a hur­ry for some rea­son. The moon rose, stars wheeled, and then the Sun rose again.

She did­n’t just wait, of course. She prayed, she sang, she read the old sto­ries, the myths and the leg­ends. On the sev­enth day she snoozed under a cloud­less sky, wak­ing only briefly when a drag­on­fly hap­pened to touch down on her nose. She observed its cathe­dral-win­dow wings, irrides­cent with refract­ed sun­light, and drowsed once more after it left her.

Rain, Sun, moon, stars: she endured them all. The seedling broke the soil with a quest­ing green curlicue, look­ing for all the world like a ques­tion mark in the Old Tongue. She sat on it and wait­ed more: days, months, decades.

A boy came along and asked her why she’d climbed to the top of the tree.

I did­n’t,” she said.