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To live embraced by warmth is wealth. I am rich. I have hot water for a bath. But its luxury is distant and unfamiliar, still. I am a human being, the cold is closer to me. I know it better than warmth. Cold fingers, cold hearts, cold lives. They taught me to light a fire, and to feed it. Never let it go out.

I would like to think that I never did, but it would be a lie. I let my flame die, as if there was another. There is no sun to warm your body if yours has set in shame and defeat. But then, undeservedly, I would wake up to find my flame rekindled as if my world-tree were struck by lightning.

Do not get used to an easy life. Learn. Ask, to be reforged into ever sharper steel. Then take up the sword, feel its weight, the cold blade, the smell of death. Learn to parry. Then riposte.

A new bird will soon reach your skies. I am holding it in my hands, fallen from its nest, learning to fly. I fed it, warmed its wings and back. It will soon join the flock. With that departure, I will also say goodbye.

And leave for a better life.