Beyond the clouds where dreamers fly
Past the storm's cold wind and rain
Past the horrors, grief and pain
Out beyond all plans and paths
Beyond reason, science, math
Through dark caves and twisting trees
Over boulders, over streams
There is a garden full of light
Healing power glowing bright
It is a land of peace and rest
After a long and difficult quest
The healing gift takes shape in earth
With the promise of rebirth
The gifts the Emerald Mountain holds
Are far more than jewels and gold
Once upon a time there was a group of seven sisters. The youngest of these was the woman who is now known as the Legendary Lost Girl. They lived in the South, and performed occasionally as an acapella group.
Now, all the names of these sisters, as well as the names of the brothers they meet later on, have been lost in time. The names used in the retelling of their story are simply the most widely agreed upon:
Tess she is our oldest
Our leader and our guide
And Helena advises her
And stands right by her side
Eloise the compassionate
Connects the young to old
Lulu is the wild heart
Her voice is loud and bold
Olivia the songwriter
Her words always ring clear
Little Stella the sweetheart
Is our baby sister dear
But unique and special Tally
What of her can we say?
Her voice and touch of power
Turn the darkest night to day
Seven sisters, all of them with the same gift. Each and every one of them was a singer. Sadly, both the names and faces of these women have been lost in time, but most people picture them as dark-haired and curvy, with either dark brown or dark blue eyes. In performance, they wore long black dresses, but that's the only certain detail that survived.
Tess, Helena and Eloise were the eldest, and had the highest, brightest voices. Lulu and Olivia's voices were best when singing mezzo soprano or alto parts, and young Stella's voice was lower still. But the last sister, Tally, had the most unique voice of all, beautiful in every pitch, for she was more than a singer. She was the only one in the family who was multitalented.
Tally's second gift was healing. As a healer, she took on an older-sister role, despite being the youngest. Little Stella seemed like the youngest much of the time, but her dreams were bigger than the rest of her sisters put together. Stella was Tally's inspiration, her joy, her heart.
Without a doubt, all of the sisters were close. Nothing could have been better than singing and dreaming together. But as Tally grew older, she grew troubled. Wasn't it selfish for a healer to dream of personal fame, instead of being out in the world helping others? She had a duty to her gift, after all.
Tally wasn't drawn to the traditional careers of healers, working in a hospital, or even as a teacher to other gifted children. No, Tally found herself fascinated by the natural healing power all around her, in rare plants deep in the forests, in precious stones, and in the waters of hidden lakes. Some healers chose to gather these magical items, make products, and open shops. Tally had considered doing so, but always brushed it off as a faraway dream. Part of her wanted to leave, to travel, but it was a foolish idea. The most foolish idea of all was her ultimate fantasy: to travel to the healing garden at the top of the Emerald Mountain.
Then one day, a few words changed everything.
"There's probably all kinds of healing magic out there we don't know about," Stella said.
"I'm sure there is," Tally said, "Who knows what's up on that mountain? But I could never go there."
Stella shrugged. "I think someday you could. But I'm not talking about the mountain this time. I've heard stories about the West."
"The West?" Tally said. "I couldn't go to the West!"
"It's too far, with seven of us. You know Tess would never go for it. Our home is here."
"But you're special, Tally. What if you went with just one of us? I'd come with you."
"The group needs you here. We can't sing with two voices missing."
"Sure we can! Tally, even if you go alone, you know you have to go someday. You're not happy, I can tell. If you go, maybe you'll find what you're looking for."
"You really think so?"
"Absolutely! We all do! We'll miss you, but this will change your life. Maybe all our lives. And we'll always be here to sing you home."
Tally turned her sister's words over in her head for a few days, and decided at last she was right. It was time to forget her fear and leave, chasing the dream her second gift had always desired.