Written by Miriam Fernandez
Art by Yaroslav Shuraev


It was a Tuesday when Lyra discovered the magic of the forest. 

She had been playing in the gardens, skipping joyfully as she passed by all of her mother’s plants. Roses, daisies, and marigolds grew abundantly there, but lilies were her favorites. She believed they were the most beautiful flowers; they were bright, they blossomed under the sunlight, and they captivated her attention. Lyra’s mother believed 

Lyra knew that she was not allowed to go past the gardens, but the allure of the forest was too great to be ignored. Her long, golden hair flew as she raced to the end of the gardens, her heart beating fast. The morning was yet to disappear, the sun still high up in the sky with the clouds drifting by. She knew her mother would scold her if she found out, but she loved to explore. To learn more, to venture further and discover something new. 

Adventures are for children, Lyra,” her mother often said, shaking her head at her. Lyra was always determined to prove her wrong; she believed that life itself was an adventure few understood and had the courage to truly recognize. Now, as she stood at the gates of the gardens, Lyra looked back to the wonderful arrays of flowers and the ease of knowing that there was nothing more than this. Knowing that there would  always be flowers. 

I can either stay here and watch the flowers bloom or I can go on a grand adventure and live, Lyra debated with herself, taking a deep breath. In her heart, she knew there was only one option–one option that would make her smile. Gathering up all her courage, she pushed the gates of the gardens open and runs. 

Lyra ran out into the open fields, the meadows that stretch out for miles and miles. She ran with her hands outstretched, reaching out to touch the wildflowers and grass. The thrill of running was exhilarating, causing her to laugh with joy and do a few cartwheels before lying down for a few minutes. 

If only Mother could see me now, she thought, smirking. Her brown eyes sparkled in the light of the day, full of curiosity. It’s then that she stared ahead and took a sharp inhale. The forest lay right ahead. 

Slowly getting up, she pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear and walked curiously over to the beginning of the forest. She walked with her hands behind her back as she thought of what the forest may be like. 

Well, here I go, Lyra thought. As she went in, her eyes captured everything from the brilliant green of the hundreds of trees to the smell of the earth underneath her feet. Birds flew right above her, chirping as they headed home while leaves swirled all around Lyra as if embracing her. Lyra twirled and danced, feeling braver than ever. Gossamer floated in the wind, a few butterflies encircling Lyra as she took in this secret fairyland.This is Life, she realized, smiling. My adventure has only begun. Her face was radiant with every beam of the sun that shined on her, but her heart was far more beautiful, full of wonder and magic.