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Archive for April, 2013

She may not smile so freely,

Though I think she’d like to do.

After all what would they think,

If they were to smile too.

 

They must not know her real age,

Or where she often plays,

Because she’s only eight years old,

What do you think they’d say?

 

When she climbs into the tree,

And searches for her dreams,

All her cares just wash away,

With everything she sees.

 

And when she finds some little words,

Suspended there to see,

It carries her so high inside,

The lovely Friendship Tree.

 

One day she will tell them all,

The secrets she finds there,

Cause one day they will realise,

One day they will care.

 

Until that time she will not say,

She will not speak a word,

Of the magic she has come to know,

And all that she has heard.

 

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As silence falls upon the land with shadows dark stretching far,
How can we comprehend all that this is and what it is to be?
Do we hold on so tight that we cannot breathe, suffocating,
Or do you give life to all you do, holding the candle burning bright?
Tis the burden that is questioned where friendship true abounds,
Yet we do not ask what is the reason or why we have been chosen?
By our own choice we will stand beside, not behind, nor in front,
Ready to fight the fight as one with our true friend standing strong.
Our hearts are true and our minds are clear so may the battle begin,
Darkness do your best but know this one thing for all of time to come.
When all is said and all is done we will remain, we will be the three,
Whilst all else lays shattered around, remnants of what was never to be.

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The lines that formed upon the ocean as the waves rolled in, with the white foam caps that move effortlessly forward, tell of the strength that lies hidden beneath the surface. A single soul paddles out, and then returns once more carried by the ripples as if carried by time itself. Today the sky was covered in clouds, heavy and foreboding, casting deep dark colors upon the ocean he loved, which, had he not known its true beauty, would have instilled a deep fear within himself.

The white haired boy reached, deep into the pockets of his long blue coat. His tiny hands fumbled as they searched frantically for the smallest remnants of magic that they once contained, yet all that now remained was emptiness. He looked out to sea once more, then as he prepared to launch the latest paper boat, he wondered how it may ever sail beyond those waves that are now like a barrier for all he had come to know. For the last days he had worked ever so hard to find the words that he needed, the gifts of life that he so longed to share, but now he risked watching them dashed upon the rocky shores before himself.

He bowed his head in contemplation and sadness, and then he looked to the sky and without uttering a word he spoke. Within his mind the questions spun like tiny ponies on a merry go round, almost so fast that the tiny candles each carried would be blown by the breeze, forever extinguishing all he had come to understand. He had to believe, there was no other choice, and without magic, belief was all he had. As he stood on the sandy shore, the waves gently lapped at his feet like the gentle flick of a puppies tongue upon his face. He waited for the right moment and he released the tightly folded paper shape with each fold playing a part in its being. It floated precariously at first, but then steadied and rocked back to him briefly, before being carried on the next outgoing current as if being pulled by an unseen hand.

He ran after it, at first in anticipation that it may topple and need his rescue otherwise it may sink, then as if encouraging it, willing it on, blowing gentle breezes from his lips followed by excited smiles. He had been so overcome by all that was happening that it was not until the last moment that he realized he was waste deep in the water, and as he stopped and watched the boat now safely sail, he stared into the crystal clear waters and smiled as two large winged creatures, like angels of the sea, swam past him as if guiding his gift of words and protecting them so they may complete their journey. He walked slowly backwards so as not to lose sight of the small white craft, then as it reached where the ripples broke upon the rocky surface hidden from view, he gave a little jump as though he was helping it climb over and beyond. Before long it had completed the most dangerous part of its journey and was just a speck upon the tiny ocean.

He turned his back now to the ocean, and as he did, the sun broke through the clouds with the warmth of its rays sending the tiniest shiver throughout his body. He turned for one last look at the now soft blue ocean, just in time to see a flash of white in the distance. He whispered some words of hope, then turned once more and walked slowly along the path that lay before him, with its tall sea grass swaying, dancing rhythmically to the soothing sounds of the ocean. Before long, those sounds had disappeared, only to be replaced by the sounds of the forest, with small birds readying their winter nests, in full glorious song, flitting here and there, twisting, turning as if dancing. It was autumn and the leaves had begun to turn, with their warm colors reminding him of his dearest friends. They littered the forest floor and crackled beneath his feet like the sound of crumpled paper, and then once more he thought about his boat and the fragility of the travel it now had taken. Around him the buzz of the dragonflies as they darted here and there with thier delicate wings glistening in the sunlight that filtered through the trees, and the gentle flutter of the ladybugs as they went from flower to flower with thier polished shells, was only broken by the vision of the beautifully colored butterflies as they drifted effortlessly on the wind, landing every now and then, to fan their wings like small hands clapping to the music of the forest.

In a short while he came upon a swing, suspended from the branch of a tall, wide tree. It was hanging from the branch by two ropes that were intertwined with a beautiful red climbing rose. Its wide timber plank with room for three was knotted worn as if telling the story of the life it once lived, like the wrinkles he had seen upon his own face when he was not a boy at all. He brushed his hand upon the surface feeling every line in the wood and as the leaves flipped and fluttered to the ground, he thought of his friendwhom he hoped to see soon, and her carefully folded butterflies which she would suspend from the branch above where she sat in the tree. He sat upon the swing and pushed himself to rock with his tiny feet, which he kicked before swaying his body so that he may climb higher and further with ever increasing gusto. He smiled widely as the wind blew through his long white hair, trailing like the flames of the candles he so protected as they flickered in the breeze. As he held tightly to the rope, he could feel the rose wrap around his fingers, holding him so he could not fall, and this made him think of the girl in the red dress that was looking after him with all she could, with all she knew how. Gradually the swing slowed to a stop, and he climbed down carefully contemplating all around him once more, ever so deep in thought. The Friendship Tree was his next stop and he now ran, arms flaying in excitement as if chasing the wind, kicking the leaves as he went sending them spinning and spiraling through the air like large confetti in a hurricane as he followed the winding path.

He reached the Tree, and as always his ears were pricked waiting for the distinctive sounds of his two friends. He looked deep into its branches so green, and before he could spy them, a smile formed from the soft giggling that came from within. “I know you are in there,” he yelled, and with that the giggling became more distinct. Yes, it was the two friends, and just then the bright blue eyes of the girl with her hair tied in pink bows peered through a gap in the leaves. “Shhhh, we’re hunting wabbits,” she whispered. He laughed and then the voice of his friend with the shiny red shoes and gleaming smile called out. “So you gonna climb up here and tell us a story?” He smiled then replied. “Only if you both promise to keep quiet whilst I tell it, and if you also promise not to fall asleep at the important parts.” They both giggled, and together they responded, “yes, we will.”

He climbed the Tree, and he sat next to the Book of Dreams. He looked at his two friends sitting side by side before him, and smiled as the light from the mobiles, which spun overhead, danced merrily on their faces. His friend with the pink bows in her hair was not well, but he knew that he must be strong. He hoped with all hope that the paper boat he had sent out earlier in the day would return from its journey soon and that the words he had written will have been read and understood. “So what story you going to tell today?” she asked as she tucked the hem of her red dress under her legs. He thought for a moment, then remembering that he had no magic to share, he suggested that he would give them a poem, there and then. Wide smiles filled their faces and they hugged closely, intent not to miss a word, because every single one was spoken with the deepest of meaning.

 

In my short life so full of wonder,

Full of all the gifts with eyes we see,

The many things we take for granted,

In everyday of the lives we lead.

 

I could never be so thankful,

For the chance to know who you both are,

A friendship like a dream come true,

A wish once made upon a star.

 

Within this tree we sit and share,

The joys and trials that come to pass,

The strength of three will carry one,

Without the need to ever ask.

 

Like true friends are in all they do,

We’ll lift up one when she is down,

Hold her high so she may grow,

Bring a smile and vanquish frowns.

 

The only tear you’ll see my friends,

Is happiness that shines on through,

For sadness hides its weary head,

And plays no part in what we do.

 

One day when we all look back,

At all the things that came to be,

We’ll do it three friends side by side,

Forever in the Friendship Tree.

 

His friends smiled and clapped, and he turned his head away so they could not see as he wiped away the last tear of sadness that he would cry, making way for the happiness that filled all their hearts. He would wait for many weeks to come and he knew eventually his paper boat would return, and he knew that day would be a time of celebration. Until then he would remain strong for them both.

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Once friendship formed within a tree,
And there I met another true,
When finally the mist did clear,
No longer one, there now sat two.

This tree with branches strong and wide,
Has pulled us here together now.
Is it just fate that made this be,
The reason will reveal somehow.

Where once the journey started long,
And two would walk the path with glee,
The path has widened ever more,
Now it carries these friends three.

So as the circle grows and grows,
The purpose will be very clear,
Forever more you’ll look to find,
That we will always be so near.

To lift you up and help you soar,
Where only eagles dare to fly,
Where even angels fear to tread,
Amongst the stars up in the sky.

And when we bring you down again,
The wonders that we know you’ll see,
Together as the three friends sit,
We’ll tell the tales in the Friendship Tree.

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I am very strong – you may draw strength from me.
You are very strong – I will draw strength from you.
This Tree is very strong – its branches we shall climb
When we need to find strength – which is most of the time.

When I feel very weak, I know where I should go.
When you feel very weak, my strength I will show.
When we need to find strength, what we have, we will share.
For we planted a Friendship Tree and I shall meet you there.

We are born into this world and we are blessed with just one life
So we live inside our dreams until the moment comes to die.
With its roots planted far into the core of the Earth
This Tree will bless us with a new kind of birth.

So when you feel weak, my friend, just begin to climb.
When you reach the highest branches, my strength you shall find.
There is courage and strength and such light in this world
When True Friendship exists between a boy and a girl.

And as we sit upon this branch, we’ll look up towards the sun.
For its bright beams will strengthen the bond that’s begun.
A beautiful red climbing rose adorns each branch of tree
And her love gives the two of us the strength that we need.

To my dearest friends, Langley and Rose – when I think of all the strength the two of you to impart into my life on a daily basis, words utterly fail me. Thank you for being there when times are good. Thank you for being there when they are not so good. I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude – Angelica xx

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Life makes people cross your path –
Some to cry with, some to laugh.
Some might teach you what it means
To be yourself, to live your dreams.

Slowly, strangers start to grow
Into dear friends you love to know,
Each learning how the other sees
The magic that blows in the breeze.

And when they share more than they hide,
They start to journey side by side.
When hard and easy truths are told
They might stay friends till they grow old.

A good friend knows the worst of you
But makes the choice to see the best.
They’ll always climb a tree with you,
But when you’re tired, help you to rest.

They’ll send a kite into the clouds
Or sweet bull dogs to lick your face.
They’ll send their paper boats downstream,
Inviting you to play and race.

For in the end, it’s clear to me,
Three children we will always be
And I’ll thank God eternally
That He gave such good friends to me.

Amen.

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Today a friend wrote a poem for two of her dear friends. Not tree worthy I hear her say. But then sometimes we all need the encouragement to believe and I guess today I am that encouragement.

At some point in time Angelica will post what I am about to post under her own name. She is kind of heart and cares deeply for her two friends, just as they care for her, so I post this now so she may then post it herself.

Thankyou friend.

What It Means To Be A Friend.

The poem may now be found elsewhere on this blog.

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If paper boats had tiny wings,

Then they could fly from tree so sea,

And all the while the words would say,

The many things we hope will be.

 

They’d sail upon the water blue,

Far away from cares and woes,

Wrapped up in the words so true,

All the things you’ve come to know.

 

So hold on to that thought you have,

The dreams that carry you away,

That put a smile upon your face,

In each and every fun filled day.

 

Listen for the laughter loud,

It echoes from the wooded glen,

From a tree you hear it now,

So deep within remember when.

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The little girl with pink bows in her hair sat by the window in quiet contemplation, her back resting against a shiny satin cushion on her favourite plush pink chair. Most other days, she would run and play and laugh with delight as she suspended herself upside down from the sturdy branches of her beloved Friendship Tree, alone or with one or both of her dearest friends. She smiled gently at all the fond recent memories that swirled now like blissful butterflies through sun-dappled, day-dreamy meadows. How she loved more than anything to spend time with her two friends – the pretty girl with the dancing eyes and ruby lips, and the magical white haired boy in the long blue coat – hearing the funny stories they made up and seeing the wonderful smiles that beamed like sunshine from their sweet, lovely faces. Their smiles and their words were always so generously given and they worked like medicine to make her sometimes tired heart happy again.

Blinking herself back from memory into the present moment, she sighed to realise she had not seen her friends for some time, then in the next moment she realised that this was not entirely true. She had seen them briefly several times, crossing paths with them for a few brief moments here and there, but the exchanges had been more like fireflies than candles – so brief and so fleeting! It seemed as though they had snorkelled quickly over the surface of things, but never somehow found the time to dive deeply, to explore, to talk and think out loud on any deeper level. ‘They probably think I don’t care anymore,’ the child whispered to herself, ‘I truly hope they know they are wrong.’

For in truth, the little girl had longed with all her heart to laugh and run and play again, to be nothing more than the playful Child without a care in the world. But life had crowded in on her, and lately, the bright bread of time had seemed to turn into dark, meagre crumbs. It took all her effort each day to gather even just a few of those crumbs together, to send them to her friends, all dressed up like dreamy, creamy little cupcakes, all pretty and sparkly and sweet with pink frosting piled into happy swirls, higher than the cake itself. Her dear friends inspired her to reach lofty heights, to climb every tree to the highest branch, and to peer out through the thick blanket of leaves and send a twinkling giggle up into the dark night sky to join the glittering stars. ‘And yet,’ she thought, now back upon her favourite pink chair by the window, ‘I would not trade the two of them for all the stars in the galaxy.’

Yet here she was, and the two apples of her eye were nowhere in sight. She knew they would be off playing, running through a field somewhere or climbing into the Tree together. Perhaps they would pass all the pleated paper butterflies she had hung from sparkly string on her favourite branch. They would brush their hands across the strings, sending the butterflies into a wistful illusion of flight. ‘She hasn’t been here for so long,’ the girl in the pretty red dress would sigh. ‘Do you think she’s gone forever?’ The white haired boy would shake his head uncertainly, then with confidence that grew like the tree’s greenest leaves, small and supple, with all the secret life of the bigger leaves inside. ‘No,’ he would reply, ‘She is small but we know that she is strong, and she is the most loyal, true and abiding friend that we could ever have. I do not know where she been hiding lately, but she can’t be far.’ Then something would catch his eye, which would make him catch his breath and exclaim, ‘Look!’

As if on cue, the children watched in awe as a pale white paper butterfly appeared inside the tree’s thick canopy of leaves, fluttering now above the branch where so many other bright paper butterflies danced on the slight bright breeze. ‘That must be the magical breeze our friend spoke of so often,’ the girl in red whispered in wonder. ‘I’ve seen so many of her paper butterflies dangling here, but never any so frail and pale! Where is its colour?’ she lamented, a gentle tear forming in her eye. The boy beside her put his hand out flat, and sensing the invitation, the white butterfly lifted itself -with some difficulty it seemed – to drop limply onto his outstretched palm. Somehow, it did not seem entirely well, and although they could not let the thoughts that filled their minds take form upon their lips, the girl reached out to clasp the boy’s other hand, and both wondered how long such a fragile creature might be destined to remain upon this earth.

‘I think this butterfly is dying,’ the girl in red started to sob softly, the compassionate heart within her starting to break at the sight of the fragile creature with wings that seemed to lose strength with each passing moment. ‘We are all dying,’ the white-haired boy replied, ‘It is part of being alive. But no, this little one shall not die, at least not yet.’  The girl in red brushed away the last tear that had fallen onto her cheek, for she knew that this boy that she loved with all her heart always carried a special kind of magic hidden in the deep pockets of his long blue coat. The white paper butterfly had now faded almost to grey, and all the strength it had used to land upon his open palm seemed now to have sapped from its tiny body as it lay, lifeless, in his hand. Without disturbing it, he motioned the girl he loved with all his soul to reach inside his pocket, and she was both very surprised and not surprised at all to pull out a long paintbrush from the boy’s magical coat.

‘I think I understand,’ she told him softly, ‘But then again, I don’t. Maybe you can paint it back to life, but where will you find any paint?’ The white-haired boy looked so deep into her eyes, she thought he had fallen into her soul. ‘My darling one,’ he replied, ‘That is where this little butterfly will need your help more than mine. You have the most beautiful heart in all the world, and your tears are more precious than every gemstone that has ever been found, for the love in your heart is the greatest treasure known to man or beast.’ His gentle words, so full of adoration, moved her heart deeply – how loved she was by him, and how much compassion seemed to pour out of him towards the lifeless, winged creature upon his palm. A single, clear tear, purer than any diamond, rolled from the corner of her eye, collecting the rosy hue of her cheek as it moved towards the paintbrush the boy now held in his hand.

Gently, the boy dabbed the soft pink watercolour onto the ashen butterfly. Astonished that her tear had added such a delicate tint to the lifeless creature’s wings, a second tear escaped the girl’s beautiful blue-green eyes, and caught once more upon the paint brush in the boy’s hand, a sparkling sapphire was layered over the wash of pink, and the palette began to build upon the butterfly’s form. A wave of hope flushed the girl’s cheek red, and now the brush caught a ruby tear as the boy finished painting the mosaic of rainbow colour – pink, blue then red – onto the butterfly’s wings. Still it did not seem to stir, but the illusion of life was breathtaking. ‘You’ve made it look alive,’ the girl spoke, her voice a mix of admiration for her beloved boy and infinite sadness for the butterfly that could not be revived, even by all the watercolour tears in all the world.

The white-haired boy looked deeply into the watery pools of blue-green eyes, now overflowing onto his beloved’s cheeks in coloured drops too numerous to catch. The soul within him stirred to find the words that would help her to understand that life would always be very short but very beautiful. He deeply wished he could have painted the butterfly back to life, so instead, he tried to paint his love with words:

My dearest love in all the earth
How precious are your tears.
Compassion runs so deep in you,
Despite all of your fears.

The colours flow like priceless jewels from
Deep inside your precious heart.
Though life is sweet, it is so short,
An end to every start.

And as she crumpled into his arms, high up in the tree, neither noticed that their painted paper butterfly had disappeared – dissolved? – never to be seen again. ‘If only our little friend in pink had been here,’ they spoke between sobs and sighs, ‘Surely she would have known how to bring that poor little butterfly back to life.’  But they had not seen her for such a long time – now only the pleated paper butterflies that she had folded with care and hung from her favourite branch with glittery string danced to remind them that she had ever been in this tree at all.

Far away, but not entirely too far, their much-loved but little seen friend with pink bows in her hair sat by the window in quiet contemplation, resting against the shiny satin cushion on her favourite chair.  That instant, the subtle sun of morning had given way to bright bursts of light, streaming through the window glass. Slowly she stood, and desperate to feel more of the sunshine, more directly on her face, she opened the window wide to let the bright beams kiss her skin. She closed her eyes and inclined her face towards the sun, letting it soak into her skin, lifting her spirits far above the room in which she had been resting. The sun flickered as though through water, dancing and smiling so that she smiled too and all her woes seemed to utterly dissolve. She breathed the warm air deeply into her lungs, renewed and revived by the life-giving elements.

Looking deeply inside her heart, she could not help but bubble with joy, knowing that each moment of life was indeed a tremendous gift to be celebrated. Yes, she may be alone right now, but she would not allow herself to feel lonely. The memory of her two dearest friends, probably this moment climbing and laughing together high inside the thick canopy of leaves of their favourite tree, caused her face to give way to a delighted smile. One day they would all find a way – somehow – to play together once more. Their presence would warm her heart again, just as the rich, golden sun now warmed her face and arms. Taking one last, deep breath, she opened her eyes again and pulled the window shut. She would sit again, just for a few moments, before finding the strength to make her way from her room to all that life demanded of her. She counted her blessings as she often did, finding that each day they were more numerous than before. ‘My friends. The sun. My room. This chair.’

And as her eyes fell upon her favourite chair, one more unexpectedly bright blessing presented itself to be added to the list. A magnificent butterfly with wings so vibrant they looked newly painted, rested quietly upon the soft satin cushion. And though she had often thought that butterflies were fragile, destined to adorn the world with their beauty for only the briefest of times, this one seemed so strong, so full of radiant light and life. She opened the window one more time, then cupping the beautiful creature gently in her hands, she guided it out to where the sunlight intensified the glittering hues of pink, red and blue on its wings as it flew – as she knew it must – disappearing in the distance like a bird towards the magic forest. ‘I must follow it there’, she knew with certainty, climbing now as children do through the open window, running with all her might down the well-worn, much-loved, never forgotten path towards The Friendship Tree. There – she hoped – she might find the magic butterfly and her beloved friends once more.

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Most of us have had pets in our life that become like children and share the good and the bad with us. They are there always for us and love us unconditionally and are probably the best friends we will ever have, because that is how they are wired. Wouldn’t it be nice if all humans actually thought the same.

Some time ago, I wrote a poem for someone that lost their pet, their companion, and yesterday another dear friend said goodbye to their dog friend of 12 years, so I have decided to share it here with you all.

 

Starry Stary Night.

 

You spent your life beside me,

A friend, a love of mine.

It hurts me so to see you go,

But the pain will heal with time.

 

I never will forget you,

Because you meant so much to me.

And when I look into the stars,

It’s your face I’ll see.

 

I know that we will meet again,

When the time is right.

And I’ll stand there with you by my side,

In the starry starry night.

 

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