It meant that I hadn’t done much of anything. Anything…useful, I mean. Sure, I’d gone to the beach with friends. Bought the cute outfits, went to the summer parties and studied for the last test of my life.
But I hadn’t done anything useful…really. You see, at the end of summer, I’ll have to take that test. It’s an experience to remembered, for some, or an ordeal that wrenches out the child in you, replacing it with mold of the mature, responsible individual you are destined to be for life.
When summer is over, I will be a young woman, capable of duty over conscience and life over love. The choice is not mine to make, or I daresay I wouldn’t chose it at all. What a strange girl I must be, to want to be young forever and never grow up.
Summer is over and tonight is my test.
I hope I pass.
“…and in conclusion of your success, I bestow upon you, the gift of powers that we hand down. All in agreement, rise.”
The assembly rose as one, murmurs of agreement floating upwards to seal the ceremony.
“Thank you, you may be seated.” Elder Garun bowed. “Mineera, you are no longer a child as this mantle becomes yours.” He draped a soft, green sash around her shoulders.
From his waist, he drew a pouch and released a shimmering bauble. The sparkle of energy hovered up and directly above the new candidate, before melting completely into her.
The green shimmer enveloped her figure, as the necessary jewelry materialized on her hands, feet and neck. Each piece, a band of delicate flowered gold with a jade in the center.
Elder Garun smiled. “Congratulations, Mineera. We welcome and honor you as a woman in our society. Take up your mantle as a gifted healer.”
Mineera rose before the assembly, her arms hung limp, her toes wiggled. She offered a tentative smile.
The shining face of an older woman greeted her at the edge of the stage. Tears of joy ran their course down her weathered cheeks. Her arms were open, her mouth smiling. Similar jewelry adorned her neck, wrists and ankles. The healing energy within glowed a bright green.
Elder Garun nudged the new healer forward. “It is your mother, Mineera. You may not remember her now, for the years have flown. But, her love has not changed, I assure you, I am sure she is proud of you. Go-join her, the right is now yours.”