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She stepped forward into the forest, this secret place. She knew what she had to do. She had come to this place barefoot. It would be rude to place something unnatural against something so pure and untouched by synthetics or plastic.

She carried with her only her heart and her mind and a gift. She had traveled to the ocean and called to the turtles and fish there to bring to her the whitest pearl within its depths. She had traveled to the highest mountain and asked the eagle for its softest downy feather from its breast. She traveled to the deepest cavern and carried with her now the most perfect stalactite from the deepest cave.

She stood now in the middle of the forest. A tightness in her stomach not from being nervousness, but from her excitement. Nothing happened. She sat down in the grass and waited. She waited for a sign. She waited for love. She waited for peace.

One by one lightning bugs began to fly around her. Soft at first, only a dim light, but as their numbers grew, the forest light up. She saw what was beyond the forest. She saw what was beyond herself. She saw her birth, her life, her death. She saw good, she saw evil. She saw love. She saw the light fall in love with her. The light came to her and swirled around her. It filled her up and made her whole. She knew, that one day, her children will be adventurers in the light. They will seek it out. They will see what is good and right and true. They will save this world from the darkness. They will wear crowns of golden lightning bugs.

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