Just a quick post today. I had a terribly busy unplanned weekend, which meant all the plans for Damara gone out the window. But I had the idea for this story in my mind since the first day, so I pushed through and quickly took the pictures yesterday afternoon.
Returning from her walk through the countryside of Sugarbush Valley, Damara headed straight for the kitchen. She was thirsty, and needed some water. In the kitchen she found two girls preparing sandwiches.
It was Prissy Thistlethorn and her best friend Jasmine Bouquet. "Good morning, girls. Oh that looks delicious." Damara greeted. "Good morning Ms Damara." Prissy answered. "I love your dress, I am gonna tell my mommy, that I want a blue dress too!" Jasmine remarked. This stranger intrigued her.
While talking to the girls, Willow, Prissy's mother joined them in the kitchen. "Good morning, Damara. Did you go for a walk?" Willow inquired. "Yes, I did. I wanted to see the countryside a bit, and needed to take some pictures." Damara replied. "That must've been lovely, our landscapes are so scenic. But wait, before I forget, this invitation was delivered for you." Willow explained. Damara was very puzzled, took the invite, and excused herself.
In her room she opened the invitation, and was stunned to find that she was invited by Mrs Savannah Trunk to an afternoon tea with her friends.
While still processing the invitation, someone knocked softly on the door of her room. It was Isabel Fisher. "Sorry to disturb you, Damara. I've just came to see if you got the invitation, and to suggest that you walk with me to the Mayor's house. I'm also invited and it is always less intimidating to arrive together.
Damara was very thankful towards Isabel for the suggestion. Even though she is not a stranger to the village anymore, arriving at any party alone, is not fun. After Isabel left, Damara thought about what to wear, she wants to dress up and look her best.
At the exact agreed time, Isabel appeared in Damara's room, ready to leave. Damara appreciated Isabel's punctuality, which made her like Isabel even more.
Luckily Beechwood Hall, the Mayor's home, wasn't far, and the time passed quickly as Isabel informed her about village life, and also told her about her friends, that Damara will meet shortly.
Damara has heard wonderful things about Savannah Trunk and though Damara expected her to be an amazing critter, nothing could prepare her for the delightfully magnificent creature that Savannah truly was. She radiated warmth and it was evident that she had a very caring personality. "Damara, how wonderful to finally meet you. It feels like I have known you all my life. I have talked so much about you with Bill from Rooibosh Hill and then also to Mr Waddlington of Mystique Valley, about your arrival and stay. I am really sorry that so much time had passed before I could finally meet you. But I am sure Mona took good care of you."
Damara entered the house with Savannah and Isabel and gasped. There was Mayor Trunk as well, and so many strangers. Damara wasn't sure if she was ready for all of this.
Sensing Damara's hesitance, Savannah decided against make a loud announcement about Damara's arrival, and called her husband softly. "Aaaah, wonderful Damara, I am so glad you have reached Sugarbush Valley, and I know that all you want to do is to go home, but thank you for including us in your trip and making our little village part of your big adventure." Hugo welcomed. "Thank you, Mr Mayor, it is a true privilege to visit your village. I have been welcomed in marvellous fashion." Damara replied.
Hugo quickly introduced Damara to his wife's best friend and then excused himself. "I feel very out of place among all you lovely ladies. Have a good time."
Savannah then took Damara around the room and introduced her to her friends one by one. "This is Katrina Whiskers, my oldest friend, we were in school together." Savannah said. "Oh and I know, you own the lovely Florist?" Damara stated. "Indeed, and thank you. Have you been there?" Katrina asked. Damara told her about her outing with Mona when everyone attended the meeting.
Next she met Cassandra Macavity. Damara immediately warmed to her, and again wondered how is it that you meet hundreds of wonderful people and then you can instantly feel connected to a few of them. "Wonderful to meet you Cassandra." Damara acknowledged.
When all the introductions where made, it was finally time for some tea and wonderful pastries and cake. "Wow, these look amazing! Pippa, I guess you made them?" Damara inquired. "Yes, I have, but I am not sure why Savannah always asks me, as she is by far a better baker than I could ever be." Pippa answered. "No I am not, and by the way, how will your shop survive without my support." Savannah jokingly replied, who was in earshot of the conversation. Damara smiled, obviously these two were very close if they could make jokes like that.
Damara also had a chance to chat to Kate Periwinkle. "He makes all the shoes himself?" she asked. "Most of it yes, but we do stock some imported shoes too, but we are very strict about who the supplier is." Kate informed Damara. "I love shoes, I should visit your shop, I just hope there will be enough time. My visit is coming to an end too quickly." Damara replied.
"So, are you surviving this gathering?" Savannah asked. She noticed that Damara stepped aside for a minute, and though she knew Damara probably didn't mind being alone, she felt it was her duty to keep including her. "Oh yes, it is a wonderful party, thank you so much for inviting me. You have such wonderful friends, and I can sense you are all so close. This really makes me miss my own friends back home. I loved my journey, but even though one is constantly surrounded by wonderful critters, it really does get alone." Damara explained.
"I totally understand what you mean, but I've also learned that one needs to be able to be alone as well, and then be content too. If you can't be happy on your own, one can never truly be happy amongst others." Savannah added. Damara thought about what Savannah just said, and realised that she indeed are happy on her own as well.
Soon the party came to an end. Duty was calling the mothers back to their families. Damara thanked Savannah for a wonderful time, and felt happy about the new friends she made.
Back in her room, Damara wrapped herself in a shawl and got comfortable on her bed. after a wonderful day she had so many memories to write down, especially the conversation she had with Savannah.
Just as she was busy finishing up another soft knock came on the door. This time it was Marion Brighteyes with two cups of steaming hot chocolate. Damara invited her in, she has only briefly met Marion, and was surprised by the visit.
While talking to Marion, she realised once again that this small village in the South of Sylvania, didn't know or understood the term 'stranger'. Here everyone was related, and if you stayed more than a few days, you would be part of this close knit family forever.