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Archive for January, 2013

She had spent many days carefully crafting this last butterfly mobile. Each fold made with an artists vision, precisely pressed so as to reflect the light from its delicate shape as it spun. Each tiny shape telling a deeper part of the story, giving life to what once was a piece of pink paper with a sparkling glittery texture. The string from which it was hung was chosen with the same deep thought ensuring that it complimented the object and allowed it to reach into the minds of those that would stand back and look on with the awe and wonder it deserved. 

As they sat with their eyes transfixed on the spinning paper suspended from a glittering pink string held high with her hands, they let out a little giggle as the mobile almost spun to life, lifting itself in the air, and then settling down as if to land. With her hair tied in pink bows, she smiled enthusiastically as her two friends reached out to take a turn. The boy with his soft white hair gestured to his other friend and she reached out and ever so gently took the butterfly in her tiny fingers. Her cheeks were flushed red with excitement and as she held on tight to the glittery string from which it was suspended she watched in amazement as if it was for the first time, and as it spun, the colours blended to look like a Neapolitan ice-cream and they all gave a collective “wow”. When it stopped spinning, she passed it to the white haired boy. Taking it carefully he smiled and turned his back to hide the prize. The two girls watched on. “What are you doing?” enquired the girl with her shiny red shoes. “Yeah, watch ya doing?” asked the other girl knowing full well the magic he weaved and certainly expecting it once more. He put his finger to his lips, “shhhhhh,” he sounded with a gentleness so often offered.

He turned to face them and then he stood to his feet. As they sat cross-legged before him with their eyes locked on his small hands and what they hid, their smiles were so wide with anticipation and their eyes sparkled. He closed his eyes as if he was going to sleep and then he slowly opened his small cupped hands to reveal the folded paper object, which he then blew upon as if blowing a kiss and it began to move. He raised his hands and no longer bound by the string, the butterfly came to life. It flew around him with the sunlight that was streaming through the old man’s office reflecting from its beautiful wings, and painting the most magical colours upon the wall. It then flew around his friend and its shape could be seen reflecting in her shoes so red. It then turned and as he gestured to her the girl with her bright pink overalls slowly held out her hands and then giggled as the butterfly softly alighted upon them. It slowly flapped its wings as it looked into her large eyes, as if to see its own reflection staring back, after all it had once truly been a part of her. Then after a while it took off once more to fly above them all, then suddenly it burst into a colourful shower of confetti like words, and as they fell upon the floor they said, ‘Friends Forever’ and lay surrounded by dragonflies, ladybugs and butterflies as if to tie them all in, giving a deeper meaning to it all.

There are few things that can amaze so much. There are so many things the imagination refuses to let go of, and in youth there belongs the need to believe. Without imagination dreams will not exist, without dreams then what are we to have to believe in. Does it really matter that the child sees things that others don’t, and as a matter of fact, does it really matter that an adult longs to see once more as the child does? If not for dreamers, we would never have reached the moon or flown like the butterflies in these stories. Without imagination and believing we would not have Tinkerbell or Peter Pan, and would that not be a loss to all that inspires the heart to smile.

Today an old man watched as the three small friends played before him. He was thankful for his dreams and the chance to share them with the others he also called his friends. He knew that they too would sit as he did with a smile upon their faces, never to be extinguished but to instead ignite the smiles on the faces of those around them if for no other reason at all but for the smile itself. How did he know this? Did it really matter, does it really make a difference, or does it make him even more magical than before for the thought itself? He is still smiling and will do forever more.

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I stand with my white hair blowing in the breeze,

Like the leaves that rustle in the winds that often blow.

Tall like the Tree that is me.

My branches reach out to hold onto those nearby,

Not to suffocate but to share what is in me.

My words will always be read by minds so small,

Yet sometimes the words have no meaning,

But are so deep like the roots that hold me to the ground on which I stand.

Know that I do still grow each day,

And strength comes from the words that are given in return,

Hung spinning from my branches for all to see.

Whilst I may bend I will never break,

But without water I may die.

Let your words like rain pour over me,

Washing clean the dusty leaves that sit lifeless at times.

Come sit with me like the children of my dreams,

So I can open your mind to all that really is,

All that ever really matters.

Come to know the tree that is me.

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Laughter from a far off world,

Where thoughts may drift and sway.

A place where hopes and dreams are formed,

Where children run and play.

 

Where a Dragonfly so strong and true,

Stands proud until the end.

Looking over those that need,

The ones he calls his friends.

 

Where a Butterfly will spread her words,

So that all the world can see.

The wonders that a friendship holds,

How life should truly be.

 

Where a Ladybug so proud and free,

Will spread her love so dear.

A love so strong and wonderful,

It touches all that will come here.

 

This is a world where all is possible,

Where your dreams you’ll come to know,

A place where cares are washed away,

Where no one will grow old.

 

So if you hear the calling,

Childish voices ringing true.

Stop a while and think a thought,

They may be calling you.

 

Come along you’ll find a tree,

Its branches tall and wide.

Smiling faces and the laughter,

Of three children deep inside.

 

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Within us lies the writer true,

Me, my Rose and even you.

 

Our words that flow from in our minds,

Are never very hard to find.

 

They’re charged with friendship true and strong,

They sing like a familiar song.

 

To bring a smile upon a face,

When again we meet in that familiar place.

 

The tree my friend as you defined,

Where thoughts will flow from childlike minds.

 

For all to know what we do share,

To live their lives without a care.

 

To fill the world with laughter loud,

Side by side where we stand proud.

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Delightful words like sunshine stream

Through branches tall and leaves so green.

Though words of late have been so few,

They’re always  part of what I do.

 

Because life poses new constraints,

Some words stay thoughts and can’t escape,

But still they fly inside my mind

Like small winged insects, undefined.

 

They long to pour onto the page

Before their sparkle starts to fade

So friends will know the soul in me

Still sits high in The Friendship Tree.

 

Though words are few and far between

They’re  full of all that words can mean –

A love of life, a joy so sweet

When at the Tree with friends I meet.

 

And now that words are truly rare

Sometimes its branches look so bare,

Yet  leaves are not what make trees grow,

But unseen water’s constant flow.

 

And never will that sweet flow stop –

It finds a way to reach the top

To water friendship sweet and strong

For those to whom its joy belongs.

 

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Two friends meet and say hello,

Their smiles are wide and true.

They’ve been friends for some time now,

As they swam the ocean blue.

 

Seeing much to tell the world,

To share in thoughts so strong.

Nothing more than friendship brings,

Nothing bad or wrong.

 

Trust has been the cornerstone,

The base for who they are.

Speaking of the unseen things,

Looking at the stars.

 

From within a tree they watched the world,

The people passing by.

Brought another to its arms,

Where she now sits beside.

 

Gently hung from branches bare,

The words of friendship fly.

For all to see and all to know,

True friendships never die.

 

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The white haired boy sat on the hill overlooking the valley that he so often visited. The hills around him rolled like the surface of the deepest dark blue ocean in which he swam, which was instead covered in tall grass that swayed in the breezes that gently blew. Colours of the flowers that dotted the landscape like hundreds and thousands lollies on an iced biscuit were only just beginning to become clear as what was left of the night faded to light. He had been looking into the night sky for a long while now and as the first light of the sun brought its blue hue to the horizon, gently pushing away the darkness that had filled his view, he took one last look at the stars. They twinkled like fairy lights, or diamonds on a black velvet cloth, and it was as though they spoke to him, begging him to join them in the far off places where they existed. He turned his head slowly at the gentle sound of footsteps coming up behind him and as he did he saw his two friends cutting a path through the grass to where he sat. Sam was wearing his beige shorts and white tee shirt with no shoes on his feet. The little prince as usual was dressed in his long blue coat, which gently flapped in the breeze.

 

He returned his gaze to the stars once more and as his friends sat down either side of him, he smiled and nodded a kind hello. He then pointed to the sky above at the same time drawing a shape with his outstretched finger. “There,” he gestured. “Up there, see if you look. There, where the sky is beginning to turn blue. See, those three stars, then from them a line of stars that travel the night sky forming a hook.” They could just make out what he was showing them and they looked on intently at the wonder unfolding before their eyes. He continued happily, “That is the constellation of Scorpio, the Scorpion. The three stars are its head and pincers, then that is his body and tail. This is my second favourite constellation,” he added. As usual, they were amazed. They were so used to him pointing out his favourite constellation Orion, which at this time of year and night was going to sleep on the other horizon. Sometimes they wondered if he was just imagining, making things up, but then they really didn’t mind because his words were always full of awe and wonder.

 

As the night disappeared and the sun’s light began to move across the valley below, with the shadows it cast like long outstretched arms, it revealed a light mist that had settled like a cottonwool blanket on all they could see. The very top of the Friendship Tree peered just above the mist as if reaching for air to breath, with the tallest branches covered in vibrant green leaves that now shimmered in the light. The sky above was now a deep blue, and only the brightest stars could be seen in the west where the light of the sun had not yet washed away the night. It was as if the last stars themselves were holding on to look at what the new day had in store before they disappeared until another night. Around the three children, ladybugs crawled over daisy tops searching for tiny morsels of food in the warm sunlight that had awakened them from their sleep. Butterflies now flew gently around carried by what little breeze there was, delicately flapping their wings and sharing flowers with ladybugs, as they searched for the sweet nectar that would sustain them. Dragonflies hovered ever so gracefully in between quick darting movements, as they protected the creatures below. The largest of them being an electric blue colour that reflected the sun’s light off its body like a kaleidoscope, with a rainbow of colours also bouncing off his wings. Momentarily it landed on the shoulder of the white haired boy as if it was saying good morning, then off it flew again to continue its vigil. This made him smile ever so widely and like an infection of the most wonderful kind, the smile moved across the faces of his two friends, where it broke into a giggle.

 

He climbed to his feet, and the white haired boy looked around as if in search of a glint of red or pink, a sign that his two dearest friends were near, yet for now there was nothing to be seen and he bowed his head slightly in reflection. He had thought long and hard about what the day would hold in store, what surprises he would give his friends today, and what magic he could weave? So now he prepared to move on. “Come my friends. Let’s go exploring.” They stood and followed him as he made his way to the Magic Forest. The air was crisp and cool and as they walked they descended into the mist that brushed softly on their faces. Like the softest curtain it unfolded gradually before them revealing the path and the trees that lined it. As they entered the Magic Forest, the sounds of the waking birds singing their soft tunes, drifted here and there. In the clearing the shapes of the nine statues began to form clearly before their eyes and the three friends sat quietly on a log, next to a blooming rose, with its sweet aroma perfuming the air near by, which reminded him even more of his dearest friend. The sunlight was gradually breaking through the mist where it streamed like small delicate spotlights that danced upon the leaves, which had carpeted the ground.

 

The white haired boy was sitting quietly in contemplation with his two friends either side of him, when he heard the gentle sound of voices coming from the other side of the clearing. It was Angelica and Rose walking hand in hand, with smiles as wide as could be. They had just made their way from the ancient ruins that the white haired boy had recently told them about, where the souls of the lost children can still be found playing in the moonlight, laughing and free to dream, no longer bound by the chains of the grownups that had destroyed all that was good there long ago. “Hello boys,” they called in excitement. “We are so tired. We have spent the whole night exploring and it was more magical than you had told us. We even met the spirit of old white haired man, with his blue coat. He was looking after the children there.” The white haired boy was smiling widely as he listened to them tell of the adventure they had taken without him. It was as wonderful as he had remembered and he longed to go there soon and once again experience the freedom that he had helped the lost souls find on that special night.

 

Before them now, the creatures of the Forest were gradually making their way back to their homes after a night of fun and mischief. The faeries and the elves were each carrying a small lantern, now extinguished, that had guided them around the many paths in the dark of night. Hollow tree stumps and the smallest of bushes all hid the resting places of these small creatures. As they walked by, two faeries gently tugged on the sleeve of his blue coat. He looked down at where they stood in their soft silken clothes, of blue, pink and red, and gave them the warmest of smiles. They had stopped to thank him for his thoughts and for all they had become because of him. His smile in return was the only thing they sought and when he gave it, they quietly moved to a nearby tree where they climbed high into its branches and went to sleep for another day.

 

By now the birds and the other animals had all come to life and were running around without a care around the five children as they sat admiring the beauty before them. It was so peaceful that you could spend the whole day just relaxing in the dappled light with the cool breeze that ever so softly swept through the forest bringing all the scents of nature to you, which in turn allowed the mind to drift magically. It was no wonder the white haired boy had so many dreams to share, after all this place was truly magical.

 

Now that the sun had burnt away what was left of the mist that had earlier filled the valley, and it was shining brightly upon the flowers and the trees, and a gentle warmth began to fill the air. The white haired boy beckoned his friends to follow him and they made their way down the winding path with its crisp covering of red and gold leaves crunching under foot, past the River of Redemption and its crystal clear waters rolling over the pebbles and rocks that lined the bottom, tinkling softly as it went. They then stepped into the light that bathed the field, which stood between where they now were and the Friendship Tree. Before them the butterflies and ladybugs danced with their shadows softly drifting upon the daisies. The path wound to where the Friendship Tree stood, and as they made their way, a loud cheerful cry could be heard.

 

Yeeee Haaaaw, Weeeeeeeeee. It was the Lovely Rose and the Little Fox riding the flying fox with the usual gusto that they rode it with. The Little Fox was smiling as the wind in her face blew back her fur and her tail flicked behind her. The Lovely Rose was smiling grimly and holding on tight, trying to look strong, but as usual hiding a little bit of fear. They were giggling ecstatically as they flew and at the end of the ride they rolled then they flipped and flopped wildly, before falling on top of one another laughing out of control until their stomachs hurt. The five friends watched on in amusement, and then burst into laughter themselves. It was obvious that the two girls had slept well and were full of energy, which meant that an interesting day lay ahead for them.

 

They now all stood together at the base of the Tree, the gathering of friends almost complete. With a “hush,” they listened carefully and from within the Tree, a whispering could be heard. “Do you think they know we are up here?” “Um, I don’t think so. Should we hide, or jump out and surprise them?” They popped their heads out from the lowest branches to have a look, but when they did, there was no one there. They looked around and then, “Boo,” came the call from behind, which made them lose grip and fall from the Tree. You see the seven friends had climbed up behind them and where standing on the branch above. They all giggled, then the girl in the pink overalls and the girl with her red dress climbed to their feet and stared pouty-mouthed back up into the Tree. “No fair,” she said. The white haired boy replied with a laugh, “what, you were about to scare us, so we just figured that we would return the thought.” They continued with their pouty faces. “Okay, so I guess that means you don’t want to come on an adventure with us today then?” explained the white haired boy. He knew these two friends better than any, and that their faces changed to excited smiles at the thought of an adventure was of no surprise to him.

 

As they all now stood together, the white haired boy explained. “You know my imagination is quiet unique, and anything is truly possible when you open your mind and believe. We need to gather some butterflies and ladybugs to take with us today.” Without hesitation, the two girls hurriedly climbed into the Tree, and untied the pretty coloured strings that held their treasures. Carefully placing them into a pink carry bag, they then climbed back down to join their friends. By now it was getting late, so they followed him as he walked through the fields away from the safety that the tree had so often offered them. As they continued the path seemed familiar and it was not long before they realised why. There before them stood the Ivory Tower, a cold white monument to all that grownups had become.

 

“Why is it we are here?” asked the girl with her red shoes sparkling in the sun like rubies. “Yes, why?” asked the girl in her pink overalls with the smiley face buttons that held her braces, reflecting in the sun like tiny diamonds. “You rescued me from here the other day, you aren’t putting me back are you?” He giggled and then smiled. “No, don’t worry, no one is being left here today, but we do have a special task ahead of us, and it will take all night.” He sat the friends around him one and all and he explained in the best way he could.

 

Some people act as grownups do,

And for that there is no cure,

Though deep inside they want to try,

They are never really sure.

 

Afraid to let go of the child,

Grownups they have to be.

Because that’s what’s expected,

It’s the only way they see.

 

Some of us are lucky though,

Our place in life is known.

We have a chance to be the child,

That’s why we’ve never grown.

 

It’s not to late to make a change,

To save them from their fate.

It only takes a few kind words,

And a little coat of paint.

 

Within a book there are the words,

To change the life you lead.

A prince, a rose and a little fox,

Of whom you’ll come to see.

 

Remember what the story tells,

Remember how it reads.

To release the child that lives inside,

The book is all one needs.

 

It came to pass some time ago,

When the book an old man spied.

It changed his life so dreams came true,

Released the child inside.

 

With the words read, and the sun beginning to set he gave his friends a list of tasks to be completed. At the same time he weaved his magic, because there was much to complete. Before the sun rose the next day, they had completed the tasks and they made their way back to the top of a hill where they could watch on happily. They looked at what was before them. Then he spoke. “From this day forward let this be known as the Rainbow Tower.” Just as the sun peeked above the horizon, their weary eyes saw a silver car pull up to the tower. From it stepped a lady, old but at the same time young, and as she got out of the car, she dropped to her knees with her mouth wide open. No longer was there a tall white tower standing stark and cold. In its place stood a monument to all she had known and dreamed to be. It had been repainted a sea blue, with its shape and colour now almost lost in the sky above and on it there were painted rainbows that reflected magically in the sun’s light, with sea creatures, butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies, all the things she so loved carefully painted all around its base. There were happy words and poems of friendship and pink smiley faces to again remind her of what had been.

 

She began to cry, because whilst she thought no one understood who she had become, she was more afraid that they would forget who she once was. As she climbed the stairs the walls were adorned with beautiful pictures of stars and planets which made her feel as if she was climbing into space, with the fresh smell of paint bringing extra life into her. ‘It was like a new beginning,’ she thought. When she opened the door to her office, emotion flooded over her once again. Everywhere she looked there were butterflies and ladybugs, with the odd dragonfly as well, dangling by glistening pieces of string from the ceiling and under her desk. They spun in the light that streamed through her window and the reflections bounced upon the walls and her face, and as they did, visions formed of where she had been, which in turn reminded her of who she really was. She cried once more and as the friends watched from the top of the hill, liquid diamonds flowed from the window and as they bounced upon the ground below, roses began to bloom releasing their sweet perfume which drifted on the breeze into the window of the now beautiful tower, again another reminder of who she had been.

 

Time passed quickly and by now the nine friends had returned to the Friendship Tree and there they rested. Relief had fallen upon the grownup, because for so long she had felt that the part of her that really meant so much had gone, gone forever. Now as she walked to the window, she very surely looked into the distance to where the Friendship Tree stood, knowing full well that she had not been forgotten, knowing that a part of her would always be a child and that nine of her dearest friends awaited the day that she would join them once more. She longed for that day. She remembered a book and a friend whom she had taught so much about life itself, and the friendship that defied expectations with a uniqueness very rarely seen. She knew now that she was the grownup, but at the same time she was the child, forever smiling and laughing and dreaming dreams that she never thought possible. She knew too that each day she came to this place, she would see it with different eyes, as the place of joy and not the foreboding structure that it once was.

 

At the Tree, all but the white haired boy slept. He was truly magical and his energy had grown from all the good that he had done. He went to the book of dreams and he read the many words that over time had been written. He read his words and then the girls, then the words of his lovely Rose and he said thanks for what had been. He thought for a while, and then began to write.

 

The day will come when you will read,

The many words that I now write.

The words of thanks I give to you,

Looking to the sky at night.

 

I’ve dreamed my dreams and shared my thoughts,

I’ve found a friendship true.

And more than that I found my child,

To share as three friends do.

 

Of all the things I’ve ever dreamed,

I truly did not see.

From a Rose, a Fox and a little prince,

Would grow the Friendship Tree.

 

So here it is and here we sit,

All waiting for the day.

For you to come and say hello,

To stay a while and play.

 

The Tree is always open,

The Tree will always be.

Do not fear it shall not die,

I promise you will see.

 

He closed the book and smiled, and then for the briefest moment he felt the thoughts from afar, as if from a dream calling him. Transforming himself as he had done so many times before, he became the dragonfly and flew to the Rainbow Tower. It was late and when he arrived he found the grownup with her head gently resting on her arm, on her desk. He flew in through the window and before her he became the white haired boy once more. She stirred, and then lifting her head, she blinked several times then smiled. Her eyes were tired, yet his smile seemed to wipe away the tiredness. She murmured, “it’s you, but how can it be? You, you made this all for me didn’t you?” He smiled and did not say a word. He held out his hand and led her to the window, and then turning his head towards her he said. “They are waiting for you to visit, would you like to come along?” A touch of sadness fell upon her face. “I am tired, I don’t know if,” he stopped her before she spoke another word. “There is no if, would you like to join us, you need only nod. I am small but I am strong and so full of magic.” She smiled and at the same time nodded. He closed his eyes and said, “Repeat these words with me.” Together they spoke, “Believe, believe, believe.” Then it was as if by magic, or in the mind, she was transformed into a pink butterfly, and once again he became the dragonfly, and together they flew to the Friendship Tree.

 

When they arrived, they climbed the Tree and all the friends smiled and hugged her. She had always been a part of their lives, she had just forgotten that the magic the white haired boy weaved was the same magic of thoughts and dreams that she possessed herself. The Tree was as much a part of her as him and so were the children that sat with her now, protected by its branches. The white haired boy truly believed that today they had reached out and touched a mind and a heart. That together they had all changed a life, forever transforming what could have been into something that as if by magic would live on forevermore in a special place. The special place that is The Friendship Tree.

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