They came everyday at first to pay tribute to her; they would sing hymns with origins to old to remember, they would retell the stories of the things she had done, they would say how they missed her and wished she were there, and they would always leave the single bouquet of flowers. A single, small gathering of lilacs; such a simple thing, but it wasn’t the price of the token they left that held any significance at all; the true value of the gesture was in the act itself.
In the beginning there was so much devotion to make the daily trek to the granite marker under that old moss-covered oak that set at the top of the hill at the outskirts of town. The stone hewn to the silhouette of a solemn girl, her loose curls cascading around her, her expressionless face slightly bowed in silent contemplation, and her stoney eyes forever closed. It had been placed upon that spot in honor of her well over two hundred years ago, and for over three generations the pale purple lilacs were replaced everyday, but as the many years passed on and on the memory of her faded, and so too was this tradition lost to the passage of time.
Those who had once bowed at her feet were now buried in the countryside all around her. The monument to her that had once sat defiantly alone on top of that hill was now just one of the many that stretched out towards the horizon; surrounded by stones with names so worn they could barely be read. The once sacred place had been turned into a cemetery now encircled by the city that sprang up around it.
Occasionally someone would come and leave the lilacs once again, and try to guess at what their significance was; not knowing that intentions meant nothing to her it was the act of obedience that made her divine.
Deftly she reached down and picked up the bouquet; it was left there thirty-three days ago. The petals nearly devoid of color it was covered in dust, pollen, and cobwebs. She had always promised she would return, and now she stood before her stoney visage. She tossed aside the withering tribute; it was time to go forth and rule again.
written for: The Daily Post