by Brooke Loamdigger
Published in The Terran Traveler
Harvest Moon Month, 1657
Are you tired of the same old day-in, day-out chores and routines? Are you looking for a travel destination that will lift you out of the humdrum and into the sublime, the world of the soaring spirit? Visit Skye, the kingdom in the clouds!
Skye is a series of towns perched on the highest peaks of the Heavenly Mountains. It is known throughout the world as a place of unearthly beauty. The streets and buildings are decorated with thousands of hanging baskets of flowers fluttering in the wind, and on every side lovely marble homes and courtyards glow in the sunlight. What a sight! Tall golden flagpoles sport long, waving blue and white banners (the royal colors), and here and there mobiles and wind chimes hang and twist in the wind endlessly, making beautiful music. All around every courtyard a low marble wall gives the visitor safety while offering splendid views, and light, woven lattice canopies shade the open walkways, with many peaceful, shady spots to rest and reflect. So, too, do the amazing Sphera trees, the only trees in the world that live entirely on thought and air, so they say!
Skye, too, is known for its birds. There are more kinds of birds in Skye than anywhere else in the world! The trees sport nests of all types, and the sunrises and sunsets are filled with a chorus of birdsong. The citizens of Skye seem to have a special love for birds. Every home has a statue in the courtyard of a bird in its nest, where seed is set out every day. You can often see birds of every color and size happily eating together at these shrines.
Traveling from place to place in Skye is, like so much else, an unforgettable experience! From peak to peak long, delicate bridges of woven glass gleam in the sunlight, connecting the hills so that you can travel from place to place, enjoying the beautiful views of the misty landscape and waters below. On a windy day the bridges hum with an unearthly sound as they sway gently back and forth. It’s inspiring and incredibly moving - but not for the fainthearted, I’ll admit!
The frequent rainfalls in Skye, too, are not to be missed. You’ll marvel as the rainwater swiftly moves from the rooftops and sidewalks into the spotless gutters along each path and walkway. Along the way the moving water sets into motion thousands of water chimes, so that every rainfall creates what is considered the most heavenly music in the world. The waters also bring fountains alive throughout the town, bubbling sweetly. Then these pure, clear waters are channeled into marble cisterns and are funneled to swift waterfalls down the sides of the mountain. It’s amazing! Finally, from there the water seeps into irrigation systems that water the terraced orchards and fields set into the mountainsides below.
Visitors can easily navigate the paths down the slopes to visit these peaceful gardens, or explore the elaborate crystal tunnels inside the mountain, where waterfalls are lit by living emerald and ruby stone. And the food! With such pure, sweet water and thin, rarefied mountain air, the foods grown in Skye have a taste like no other. Visitors often say that every meal in Skye - even the humblest loaf of bread - is a heavenly feast!
Skye is a peaceful country, with kind, thoughtful people. In the courtyards you can see the citizens walking quietly here and there, talking or thinking, playing chess or sitting strumming lovely harps or playing flutes. Even their festivals are not the rowdy harvest celebrations of Terra or the whirlwind tidewater festivals of Merre. Earnest debates, song sharing and cloud retreats are more the Skyans’ style. But if you can be there for a fledgling Flight ceremony, don’t miss it! When a child or young adult takes his or her first flight, there is a huge celebration, with feasts, songs and special Flightdances by chosen adults. It’s an event you’ll never forget!
Flight? You ask. Did you say flight? That’s right, friends! Skye isn’t just a lovely kingdom with friendly, gentle people. It’s a place of learning, and many of Terra’s wisest citizens have climbed the steep mountain paths to ring the bell at the main gate, aptly named Humility, hoping to learn from the Elders there. And one of the most amazing skills that the Skyans can teach is - yes, really - to fly. Yes, to fly! Few of us Terrans have ever had the privilege of seeing this incredible sight, of men and women swooping through the air, supported only by their spiritual vision. But even the children of Skye learn this astounding skill, and for this alone the kingdom of Skye is worth the hard climb to the peaks. It can take many years of meditation and spiritual searching for visitors to Skye to learn to fly, but some have done so, and have amazed their fellow Terrans upon their return.
Now, often Terran visitors ask us about visiting the royal palace in Ambrosia. But Ambrosia is a place shrouded in mystery, and not a single Terran has ever passed through those shining gates. That is because this stunning castle is set not on the mountains, but up in the clouds - yes, reader, the clouds! It floats above the tallest peak, and only those who have attained the gift of flight can enter, and this only on rare occasions. So Ambrosia and its King and Queen are somewhat of a mystery for us lowly Terrans. Perhaps someday one of us will visit, and charm the world with a report of its wonders.
So leave your petty cares behind and make that climb to visit the most sublime and lovely place in the world. Visit Skye! You’ll be glad you did!