“I’m scared to stay with you.” … “But, here I am, staying with you anyway. And maybe this won’t end how we want it to. But seeing if it does? Will be worth everything.” – SorenExcerpt taken from M. Wednesday’s “Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” Chapter 26
Part three into the Life Lesson Series will focus on the quality of bravery, one of the renowned qualities that lies in the heart of a dragon. Only, the dragon that this lesson revolves around, isn’t the bravest, or the most dragon-like when his story begins. Soren is the dragon that changed Drystan’s life, and his example can change yours too.
A warm barn fluffed with straw. Flying practice in the sunny fields with your siblings. Summer naps under the shade of your mother’s wing. This was the beginning of Soren’s little life – a hatchling raised in the dragon stables in sea-side Hardinggate, handled with all the love and fresh fish a baby dragon could want. His siblings were rehomed as they came of age, just like any other clutch of hatchlings. Sold to wealthy lords and landholders, nobles, and Kings. But Soren had the privilege of growing up in his birthplace, under the gentleness of his mother, the watchful eye of his father, and Drystan’s steady hand.
Soren is Drystan’s shadow, this oversized tag-along house pet that wants to do whatever it is you’re doing and would love to help in your chores but can’t because they don’t have thumbs. Soren is the puppyyour boyfriend stuffs into his backpack as he comes to spend the evening with you because said puppy has separation anxieties.
This dragon lived a spoiled life in his early years.
Soren sounds like your average Golden Retriever puppy.
But he’s not a Golden Retriever. Because his muse came in the form of an Italian Greyhound. My Italian Greyhound. Finnighan has been Soren’s real-life model for as long as I can remember. I looked at my Fin and I saw a handsome dragon who smiled a lot. I saw Drystan’skind, loyal, nervous, quirky, thinks-he’s-a-lap-dog dragon. And this is how Soren’s life began.
Even further along into the book, Drystan relates to Camilla how Soren is like a puppy. (His coaxing mechanism to get her to ride Soren back home.) But, other than for play and hacking through fresh caught crabs and fish, those claws and fangs aren’t purposed for a life of captivity. You’re fed, you’re safe, you’re bathed, you’re kissed on the nose, you’re saddled and flown near every evening… Soren, just like any other house pet, might not have had reasons to be brave.
But all that changed.
All those warm feelings of being taken care of changed, and Soren had to find his bravery. Moon Reign begins with Soren’s fourth spring, and all the love he’s ever known is suddenly being taken away from him in his being rehomed to an entirely different family – the royal family of Aledonia (See previous Life Lesson Part 2).
Bravery had to be found in order to battle this major separation from the only life he’d ever known. From his mother, his father, but especially from Drystan.
He was a statue before the ship, before the Prince. He couldn’t look at them, but they magnetized his gaze. Stay, and he’d be taken away. Fly, and he’d cast himself away. He was stranded. Trapped. Breathe. How to breathe… how do you breathe –
“Soren.” Saving hands cupped his face, bringing his dead eyes to his.
Blue. Blue like the sky. Blue like the ocean and his mother. Blue like all things calm and understanding. The ringing in his ears subsided.
“In and out, Soren,” he whispered. “In and out.”“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 2
Drystan is Soren’s security blanket, the one with the saving hands and sky-blue eyes. Yes, this four-year-old dragon, described as being a head taller than a hefty draft horse with scales of iron, needs a security blanket.
Italian Greyhounds are Velcro-dogs. They need you, and they also need your lap and every other cushy thing you might have around the house. Not all Italian Greyhounds shake like fragile leaves in the wind. Fin doesn’t shake. But, he is what I like to call a nervous pooper. He’s learned to control it, but nerves will make him go, and there may or may not have been occasions where those nerves caused bowel movements in my car. (I am in no way indicating that Soren is a nervous pooper.)
All I’m saying, is that Drystan recognized that his dragon was not the bravest of his family’s clutch, and parting with him was the hardest thing for this very reason. He knew that Soren was a Velcro-dragon, and that Liasar, a complete stranger to Soren, would have no idea how to handle Soren’s insecurities.
Which is why Soren had to quickly learn the self-saving quality of bravery to be his own security blanket.
Sometimes I think of the word bravery and I think something big like, jumping off a cliff, or doing something that involves physical strength to conquer something terrifying. But to put bravery on a more timid level, on Soren’s level, the strength to muster up bravery came from within. Bravery came in the form of trust. Trusting that Aledonia would treat him well. Trusting that Drystan would still love him through the distance. That he’d simply just be okay.
Something terrifying can come in something as simple as clicking the Publish Now button. I can’t tell you how terrified I’ve been throughout this process of publishing Moon Reign. I mean, this is my debut – What if people hate it? What if it flops? What if I’m just not good enough? Terrifying can be sending an inquiry letter for your first draft. It can be something smaller, like picking up your pen after a long, long, absence from your writing.
But you have the choice to completely remake yourself, to recreate how you feel, how you think, how you speak. It’s bravery to shed our insecurities, it’s bravery that helps make the change, even if it’s little by little. It’s bravery that helps us expose what we are and what we truly want to be.
New beginnings and huge transitions are never the easiest to face. They might be difficult to accept with softness and an open heart. But, this developing quality of bravery assisted Soren all the way through his first few weeks in Aledonia and well into the end of Moon Reign’s book one. It assists him through new twists and turns in his life he never thought he’d ever take. Soren does not remain the cowardly dragon he started off as. Bravery ignited his strength in standing up for himself, and an even stronger ability in standing up for others.
The beauty of this dragonly quality called bravery is that it’s not meant to be applied with arrogance or brashness. There’s a softness in sticking to what you believe in and standing up for yourself. Soren’s example is a reminder that being brave is not about being brash, and that being strong enough to stand up for yourself is not about being overconfident.
The lesson learned through Soren: Be bold and brave enough to use your voice, but be soft enough to not cut people with your tongue. Be bold and brave enough to listen to your heart, but be soft enough to remember that your actions affect others too.
Lyrical inspiration I used for Sorenhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHTjPQIesWs