Give Of Yourself To Others

Title: Give Of Yourself To Others
Time Period: October, 133 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Cordelia makes it home in time for dinner to have a talk with Dina re: Philanthropy.

The smell of wood fires and the crunch of autumn leaves underfoot are pleasant enough, but the cold wind hints that winter is not far off, waiting in the wings for her time on earth. The door to the manor opens and closes, and Cordelia enters followed closely by Argyle her deerhound. The girl's cheeks are ruddy from the wintry chill, but she wears no hat, nor scarf, nor gloves.

She left the house with them, on her errand to the marketplace, and she's not the sort to misplace her possessions. Cordie's hair, with no hat to keep it in place, is a wispy mess that she's already trying to finger-comb into place to look presentable for supper.

"Really Cordelia Ross. One of these days you'll come in presentable for dinner" The voice behind her in gently chiding - As she tends to be regarding her granddaughter - and fast approaching. The scurry of paws on the floor behind her indicate that Greets-The-Sun isn't far behind. Likely to go attempt to run around the Deerhound and pester it. "Come on, lets get you a comb for that hair of yours before your mother and father see it."

Dina closes in on Cordelia, halting with a swish of skirts to reach up and help tuck a sray wisp behind the young girls ears. "Just what were you doing out there?"

The girl rubs her hands together to warm them and turns to smile sweetly up at her grandmother, tipping a kiss into the woman's cheek. "Da won't care," she says of her hair, though Goneril would probably appreciate the combing. Cordie's long since given up trying to look as neat and well-kept as her mother. Either time will supply the skill or it won't, she figures.

"I was in the market. Old Myrna was there, and she had no warm clothing. She was still in her summer clothing except for a shawl. I gave her my things," she says, chewing her lower lip a little nervously, eyes darting to the other room where she expects her mother may be. "I'll just use my old ones."

"You could have just come on home and told me" She tugs Cordelia off to a nearby bathroom, the easiest place and the closest mirror to see if she can't dig up a comb. "I'll see if Jorn won't be of a mind to make you a new set and if you like, we can scour the house for some warm clothes for dear old Myrna, if it would make you feel better?"

Aha,a comb, produced from under the sink of the small bathroom from a jar which causes her to gesture to the closed toilet. Sit. Let her brush out the hair and probably a sight gentler than Goneril might. "So kind in heart you are. Did she say thank you?"

"If he'll make new ones, I'd rather give those to someone too," protests Cordie as she bends her head to the combing, closing her eyes like a younger child might, as if anticipating pain that doesn't come.

She nods her head. "She won't look at me in the face. She bends her head and just murmurs so I can't really hear her, and says something like God Bless. She tried to give it back but I wouldn't take it."

Cordie blows into her chilled hands before opening her eyes to look into Dina's face. "I want to help people like you do. Can you teach me, Gran?"

"Most won't. It injures their pride that they cannot support themselves, or that they need just a bit of help to live. Pride is a terrible thing, and yet, sometimes, it is the only thing that we have. We place a very very high price on it" Dina takes up a small section of dark hair and sets about to scraping the comb through as gently as she can.

"I can help teach you, but I don't see that you'll find complete fulfillment in it." She hits a snarl and takes a second to try and pick apart the worst of it before carrying on. "But I can help you learn, what seems to be in your heart. One thing I can tell you is that to salvage pride, sometimes it is best to do things invisibly. You do not pass it to Myrna. You wait, till she's distracted, then you place the items somewhere with her things. You spare her pride, and she cannot refuse. Thus all is well"

Cordelia listens, brows dipping thoughtfully. "I've heard it said that there's no truly good deed because we feel good about ourselves for doing them, and in that way, it's selfish. And maybe it is… I don't like how I feel when I feel guilty for having things that other people don't. Everyone should have a house and light and warm clothing. But isn't it more selfish to have those things and not try to share them?"

She looks up at her grandmother searchingly. "I know I can't give everything I own away… especially since I don't really own anything of my own."

There's a little self-abashed smile at that. She can't give away her clothing when she's not the one paying for it, at least not more than this once. "Why do you think it won't be fulfilling enough?" she asks a moment later, more seriously.

"No, you can't give away everything you own, because if you do, then what would you give afterward? But there is more than just the physical that you can give. A smile, you can give" hair travels freely through the comb, and she moves on to another section, taking up the strands in her aging hands. "A helping hand, a palm. You can use your mind in lieu of clothing. But know to that you cannot solve all problems or make them go away. It is a sad fact, but that it is"

"As for having things. It is, how you were born. You were born to this family, the same as others were born to theirs." There's a scratching at the door, and then underneath, the small space between door and floor, Greets-The-Sun is squeezing through, fur forcing itself under the gap. Not that Dina pays attention. "Never feel guilty for it, do you understand me? For it is a test. Do you sit in this house and do nothing but look down on those less fortunate? Or do you feel happy that you were born to such, for it means that you have the means to help those who were not? That's what this is Cordelia. This house, the plant, your hands and your mind. It's the chance to do great."

She doesn't answer the last question though. Just runs the comb through hair.

The scratch draws Cordie's eyes downward, and she bends to let her fingers trail over soft fur lightly, giving the familiar the soft smile reserved for animals and younger cousins and other smaller creatures than herself. When her dark eyes return to her grandmother's face, they shine — there are no tears, but there is a passion behind them, and admiration for Dina.

"I will, then," she vows, a quiet and gentle confidence in her words that is so different than the easy charisma of her father or ambitious strength of her mother.

"But" But. "You need something to do, something that will let you give of yourself to others, that you will find passion in, delight, even come to love. One day, when your father is old and gray and I have long since passed, you will inherit the plant. You can learn to run it, dive with your hands in, or you can try your hand at something else in the town. This place, your home, is an oyster Cordelia, and you can do whatever you want, so long as you put your mind to it. But you need something else other than being just a philanthropist to do. Or you will become tired and loose yourself somewhere, along the way"

Greets-The-Sun pauses in his route to Dina's skirts, flopping over on his back in a likely familiar game of please scratch my belly, with the younger woman, pink tail on the floor, light colored belly exposed and limbs akimbo and out of the way of her nails, waiting, whiskers quivering.

The familiar draws Cordelia's attention and smile again, and she scritches as demanded by body language while she muses on her grandmother's words. She's not too quick to answer, instead taking the advice and chewing on it a moment.

Finally, dark eyes look back up and she nods and stands, mindful of where her boots move so as not to step on that tiny pink tail. "The plant is important work, too," she agrees. "Even just that is helping people." Her words are careful. "I understand that. I just want to do more."

She pauses, and reaches for her grandmother's hand. "Like you do." She smiles again, and tips her head toward the door.

Newly combed hair falls into her eyes and out of place with the smallest of movements. "Supper smells wonderful," Cordie says, the non sequitur accompanied by a stomach growl that helps excuse the change of subject.

'Then you may help me with my philanthropy and by doing so, learn what you can do and where your place truly is in this town, and where you will be needed. besides, I need a smart mind. I have an idea, and if I should be able to do it in the years to come, we may scratch off one thing on your list of desires" Dina squeezes Cordelia's hand. "Maybe, we might be able to give everyone a room with electricity for light in it yes? Would you be amenable to helping me with that when you are not learning?"

greets-The-Sun takes what he can get and when Cordelia's is done, it's a rock side to side, to get himself upright and scurrying off to Dina's hand - Forewarning about what he wanted - where she lifts him to her shoulder. The transformation from mouse to the yellow and brown feathered lapwing, better for when around the table, is quick, and he perches on her shoulder like some proud bird.

"It does doesn't it? I did not cook it though, not this meal. Too busy at the school. But shall we go now that you are presentable enough for your mother?"

"Yes, yes, yes, and yes," Cordelia says brightly to the various questions, counting them off on her fingers as she opens the bathroom door and steps outside into the hallway once more, leading the way to the dining room where the rest of the family has already begun to gather. The meal will be a warm and merry enough one, bolstered by the spirits of the happy teen feeling she has a new purpose in the world.