Sunrise

The wind blew along the frozen river driving every living thing away from the banks.  Except for one man.  Wrapped in a heavy brown cloak against the cold, he leaned on a fallen tree trunk to avoid sitting on the ice and snow.  He stayed there, waiting, facing the east.

The sky behind the far bank had just begun to brighten.  A golden reddish hue crept upward and bounced off the few clouds high overhead.  The moon having already set, there was no other light to compete.  As the light in the sky grew, he could feel the moment approaching.

Every magic was at its strongest at particular times of day.  The rhythms of that unseen power mirrored the rhythms of the sun and moon as they chased one another through the sky.  Seasons, too, mattered, as the the day echoed the ebb and flow of the year.  Dawn in the late winter was thus ideal for reading the signs.

He pulled a small pouch from under his cloak and, just as the first sliver of the sun appeared, cast the rune stones onto the snow.  Three runes told the tale.  Where he had been was signified by the rune of initiation.  Secret beginnings were all too clear in his tale.  No judgment was offered, merely an acknowledgment that those beginnings held clues for him now.

Next, where he was.  Disruption.  This seemed obvious as well, but the runes were not known for speaking so clearly.  Disruption in the world was a given.  But like the previous rune, this was a rune signifying the cycle of self-change.  Disruption within, as well as without.  He was still uncertain of his own role, his own path, and that must be resolved, perhaps by considering the source, the beginnings, of all of the disruption: his initiation.

Finally, where he was headed.  Movement.  Another rune of self-change.  Ultimately, his answers lie ahead of him, not behind.  There was no going back.  Whatever trials lay ahead, he must push through them and find some new future, not recreate the past.

As the sun broke free from the horizon, he realized he had tarried here long enough.  He trusted his reading, but the surface meaning of the final rune was also relevant.  It was time to be moving on.  Nodding his respect to the sun, he turned left and followed the river north.

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