[Video postin' today. Iroh is off to one side with a cup of tea at his elbow; the focus, however, is on a bright red lily in a glass case - a sort of artificial growing environment. One of the buds has very recently flowered; another couple are still closed.]
This is the Fire Lily. A symbol of my nation's culture, it represents the passion and drive of my people, yet it flowers only for a few weeks every summer. The fleeting nature of its beauty means that it is treasured all the more.
This particular specimen, I received as a gift from a good friend, at Christmas. I have waited seven months to see these flowers bloom, and that friend has long since gone. Many people I counted as friends have left this place - those I knew well, and those I wish I had known better and for longer. Unless they return here, it is unlikely that I shall ever see them again.[He sips his tea.]
But that is the way of all places. I arrived here having lost friends and family alike who I will not meet again, or who would have nothing to say to me if I did. Here or anywhere else, it is rare to find someone who will stay with you forever - but the memory of them is persistent. The value of any relationship does not fall after it is over, and I do not regret the friends I have made here nor the pain of their loss. Nothing is made meaningless through brevity alone.[Filtered to anyone who was helping with general feeding efforts over the last few days.]
I know that this flood has been particularly trying, with some being unable to work and many having quite...unusual needs. And I know that even at the best of times, this job is thankless - but in these past few days, as ever, you have all worked admirably. Thank you.[Private to Valmont]
Let's go for a walk, shall we?