I secretively watched the exchange between my master and friend. Axelle had so much grace and beauty- she was the perfect example of who a Priestess should be and I envied her despite our closeness. Even though she had three years above me, I felt jealous that Shantia gave her the most honored tasks and even a bit of freedom to practice our crafts on her own. It seemed I spent most of my days hovered in this corner working on prayer memorization instead of dancing through the brooks and practicing my true talents.
"Vestina?" Shantia had been watching me as I was carelessly still focused on the door through which Axelle had passed many moments ago. "Vestina, if you have not memorized those pages before we leave for market, you will miss it yet again."
My mood began to turn to a surly disdain and I could not even focus on the books which I should have finished studying nearly a year ago in my apprenticeship. Murmuring that I needed to relieve myself, I pulled my shawl down further over my eyes and slipped quickly outside. I had a confidence to my step that Shantia did not believe to yet be grace, but I knew that I could dance beautifully if I only had the chance to leave those prayer books behind.
Dedication to the spirit of water through dancing was much more to my liking than the prayers and rote scripts could convey. Of course, after my years with the wise Shantia, I understood the importance of these things. But I did not care to speak much, and when put on the spot, I could only stare and stutter portions of the verse. With this on my mind, I had made my way swiftly to the tree outside our hut where a sweet songbird was still singing her melody for us, and from the rain barrel a few yards away, I quickly pulled a stream of water through the air with the intention of feeding the bird's young family.
Frustration coursed through me as the stream splattered and fell among the leaves before reaching the carefully crafted nest . I jerked off my head covering and huffed, knowing that my eyes must be flashing in my anger.
Why could I not control the water? I knew that I must focus more, and Shantia would say that I am not reverent and focused on my prayers specifically. Perhaps it was also the passion that I must learn to use to my benefit instead of allowing to get the better of me. It was only when I danced that I felt soothed and relaxed. But not even Axelle knew how much I had memorized and practiced. After all, I was to know my prayers first and foremost.
Already beginning to calm down as I rationalized my inadequacies, I replaced the cover to hide my lack of hair and headed back to the hut just as Axelle appeared on the path coming from the stream. I smiled, thinking how magnificent she would look in her ceremonial dress during market.