Friday, September 22, 2023

XERXES - My Beginning

My Beginning

With my first recollection of my command of a young body, I am being sung to sleep in the lap of my mother. Her floral scent comforting and familiar. The tone of her voice warming my heart. Brushing away the fear of sleep with her gentle fingers caressing my hair.

She was called Attopolese by my father. She was the daughter of the great ruler Cy-rees. I, her firstborn. Younger brothers and one sister followed, but I was forever sealed in her heart as her first and one true love.

Thus begins the setting of my station. Older siblings amoung the fray, but the first of the singular royal line of great Persian leaders. And much was expected of me.

The first eleven years were spent in glorious wonder. Exploring the grounds and buildings. Raised by everyone. Loved by all. Cared for and nurtured by all. There were always boys to climb fig trees. Servants to chase us from the stallions’ field. Women to feed us sweet treats. And little girls to tease and chase to our hearts content. Paradise for that age.

I share that I was one of adventure. Mischief. I see these words flow easily now. And I grasp the need to attend to the details by waiting for the correct moment for her to receive the message.

My parentage was a great advantage. The research is valid. I do not dwell on the gallantry of the upbringing. Persia was golden. Not a golden age. Not a richness unrewarded. Golden.

The air was ripe and fresh. The sands and swallows and small meadows and yes forests held a golden hue.

Yes ours is depicted as barren. A desert. A hollow dry place. In my days and nights there was much abundance of life and measured sadness.

The details of my young life are not most important. I am lost to history but for a few notes from a majical musician and a stealthy painter or two. A coin of great value bears my resemblance but that matters not. Not now. Not then.

I was happy. Well fed. Well practiced in the arts of athletes of my time. Archery. Racing. And horses. We did have the mastery of horsemanship.

The household is described as this. If you are interested. My first memory is of the open veranda. Fruits and other treats in baskets on a table. Children. Some my brothers running free and laughing. There were men and woman of great stature always gathered at our doorstep. In and out. Making great plans. Discussing great adventures. Weaving the future of our great Persia.

There were long and straight halls leading off the grand meeting place. And rooms for sleep were plenty and well decorated. Yes there were silks and cottons and every manner of woven fabrics. As if that is important?

Oh and the colors? Yes. Vibrant to the eye. Deep and rich. And hand dyed by the very masters of the art. Each one pleased to share talents that were housed in the palace.

The beds were of comfort. The food was plenty. The decorations fancy. The lighting was by wick and oil.

You surely will inquire of the food? All grown in the surrounding lands. And hunted in the nearby forests. Yes. Forests. Persia of great was not a complete desert of dry sand and bitter winds. It was lush. Green. With streams flowing with sweet water and lakes with cool and comforting banks.

The abundance was shared by all. And we held that no man was a slave to another in that palace. That singular household. Each had a role to play in the upkeep. And the children were happy to play the roles as well.

It is said that i was arrogant. And perhaps that is true. I say this. I was a happy and carefree child. My favorite and cherished memories are of hiding in the tops of the trees of the orchard along the grand alley to the palace. And in doing so, eating my fare share of plums and pomegranates and figs.

There were so many wonderful men and women that watched and cared for us. There was never a moment of fear that I recall. And now in all retrospect of all that is and all that has been written. Persia was a paradise without compare.

I share this and admit my guilt. If I had followed my heart. And remained true to Persia. To paradise. I would not have sacrificed her future to the conquest of other nations.

The sadness I feel now sharing this moment wells up into my heart. Yes. I still have a heart. I am in form. And intend to make your acquaintance as permitted by these swaying winds both bitter and sweet.

I take great care as i share this. Had I not been hoisted to power by those who desired my. . . . . I share this now. In hesitation above and herein. The attempted conquest of the Greeks was great folly.

I am fully responsible. And knowing this in my heart and in all of my being. I know that my participation in the events created a diversion. One that gave credence and possibility to future events. Contributing to the decline of my family. My people. And of all those I loved. And love even now. To this very moment. In the most recent history of earth.

I ask this to be shared now. Persia is a people of great love. Of great compassion. Of great art and contribution. And her people of a beauty to be shared. As they are all given to do even now. No amount of control/ of mismanaged power or dismantled colonization, can stifle her. She will rise once more. In beauty and in grace.

This moment closes. I see. And I am grateful for this short moment to share my story. There is much more if the writer is willing to bring it out and give letters to the words. And that is all I wish. That the story of Persia is held with love as all move forward into what is expanding now.

I am Xerxes.

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