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Archive for the ‘Butterflies’ Category

The small boy clasped the clear round crystal between the tips of his tiny fingers and he raised it to where it sat balanced before his deep blue eyes. Its polished surface glistened like starlight as the rays of the sun reflected upon it and penetrated to its core. The sun’s rich light sent tiny rainbows radiating out and bathing him in colours that danced like faeries wings across his face. As he stared past it’s etched surface to deeply within, he caught a glimpse of his reflection with his flowing white hair flicking in the breeze, and the twinkle that had not shone in his eyes for some time now. As if by magic words he used to know began to flow once more through his mind. It was like a dream of old where all the imaginations that he had ever known had begun to seep through his body and like a thousand paper boats, they now glided effortlessly into the pale blue distance in search of that place, that special place that only a true child could find or understand. A smile formed on his face and at the same time a tear ran from the corner of his eye, and as he wiped it gently with the back of his hand, he knew now that what he thought had gone, what he thought had left him, had never gone away at all. It had all just lay deep inside like a dream waiting for that moment where waking merges with sleep and carries you in its arms and into the place where those dreams become visions all so true.

He closed his eyes and listened intently to all the murmurings around him, hearing at first the soft beat of his heart, ‘pom – pom, pom – pom’, then the breeze as it carried the sounds that now drifted from the magic forest in the distance. There was a faint echo of laughter emanating from its deepest reaches, down a darkened winding path draped with deep green vines that formed a tight canopy where sunlight would not penetrate. It was here that the children lost so long ago would play, watched over by the future, the spirit of the old man that was yet to be. It was a truly magical place, a place of dreams where a child could hide and choose never to be found. Where lost was a choice, not something that happened to be. As the sounds grew louder, he felt himself lifted from his feet as if in the grasp of something even he could not comprehend, like he had invisible wings that had unfolded to stretch out glistening in the late afternoon sun, like those of an agile bright blue dragonfly. Below him the wheat field swayed as if in time with the tune that now inspired him to believe like he had never done so before, in the magic of the child that he was. The deep green leaves of the nearby tree rustled like tiny violins as he was carried through its canopy with them brushing against him, and as he was taken to that all familiar place where he had been so often before, he stood once more staring at where it all began, the ‘Book Of Dreams’. Behind him there was a whir of sound as the dragonflies and butterflies that were suspended from the branch above came to life in his presence, spinning from their silken threads at a heady pace, whirling and twirling almost out of control as he now watched on in awe of the glistening menagerie.

The dappled light that filtered through the leaves of the tree danced upon the gnarled finger like roots that radiated out from below as if themselves in search of something lost. The light had begun to fade, with the last of its warm orange tones now bathing the undulating hills that stretched across the land into the distance, to where the fine fingers of light could no longer reach, and the darkness had begun to take hold. His grip on the round crystal object had never faltered, like his belief in life and all it had to offer, and as he stared into the sky above where the dark velvet veil had begun to form, where the faint twinkling of tiny stars had begun to peak through the curtain of night as if peering at what lay below, his imagination came to life. Fireflies began to dance, suspended in the lead lit lanterns nearby, and the soft whispers, like lasting echo’s reminded him of all that he had known, and all that he had been. Where once stood a man, there now stood a child, lost to this world and all the intricacies that threatened to fall and shatter like crystal teardrops on the rippled ground below. He had reclaimed his life, and at the same time, he had maintained his greatest strength, his resolve to believe. Not just because it was the thing to do, but because he truly believed, and just as the stars would always sparkle in the sky, so it would be that he would always remain a beacon of hope for all that sought to find that little something that had been lost.

Today as he stood silently contemplating all that had flooded back into his tiny mind, he realised that for all that he had thought had been lost, now more than ever he knew that this world he had created was more alive than ever before, and no tears, no pain could ever take it away or tear it apart. This was a special place created in a dream and forged within the deepest realms of time and like time it would never fade, and it would never be forgotten. He thought for a while and then he understood that we all lose our way, and at times we look so hard to find ourselves again, we look so deeply inside the complicated world in which we have lived, that the simplicity of the child goes unseen. Like the crystal ball he held, life is fragile, but also transparent if we look beyond what appears opaquely upon the surface. Who you are is important to you and you alone, and how others see you, well, in a world where so many ideals exist, does that really matter and do you really care? He understood now that he must enjoy life for what it is, because tomorrow is never far away and may never come at all, and sometimes the darkness closes in so quickly that we just don’t get the chance to say goodbye before that light of life is extinguished forever. Dream big, dream loud, for a dream is but a wish to be made in world so complex yet so simple, where the boundaries of reality sometimes cross into the imagination in those times we let the mind slip beyond the known.

Remember that just as the sun shines bright in the big blue sky, or as the stars twinkle in the darkness of the night, with their voices, their laughter calling to be heard by the child in us all, so our life unfolds. It is forever a mystery of where it is going and where it may end. We are born into this world with nothing, and when we go we take nothing with us. But we do leave the memories that may linger and then fade, or even better still, last forever with those people that we have come to know, those we have touched so deeply with who we are and for what we will therefore always be remembered for.

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I closed my eyes and visions formed,

Just like I slumbered in a dream.

The things I saw were all surreal,

It had me drifting so serene.

 

The magic that I thought had gone,

Had somehow found its way again.

The child that had been lost inside,

Within this dream had come to play.

 

In the moon light glow I spied a form,

With silken wings so fine.

It danced upon the golden dunes,

Beside the ocean deep and wide.

 

As quickly as the vision came,

So it had faded into night.

I knew it would come back again,

Another day it would take flight.

 

So I made a wish upon a star,

That glistened in the velvet sky.

A thought I had which came and went,

Within a tear drop in my eye.

 

Now I wait for dreams to be,

For faded hopes to shine once more.

The past is gone the future’s here,

A child waits near life’s open door.

 

 

 

 

Faeries

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The path was familiar, but the terrain seemed unknown. The child’s hands brushed the long purple cat-tail grass, then caught a drifting dandelion head as it bobbed upon the blissful breeze, making a wish before releasing it to dance away towards the sun’s bright rays.

The sweet scene proved but momentary delusion. The jaded adult stared blankly, mocked by words that no longer flowed where gentle streams once meandered through forests towards some iconic tree, embellished with fanciful stories like kite tails caught in branches where only children dared to climb.

When the feathery dandelion dissolved from sight, small feet skipped the pine-needled path to the place where kite tails dangled like mosaic mobiles from ancient branches; small hands traced the textured bark like a puzzle to be solved or a tower to be climbed.

The memory of childhood was rusting and eroding, tarnished by trials too terrible for small minds to comprehend. Some part had passed into dispassionate past, moving almost beyond recall. Thoughts that once danced brightly on air now suspended dimly in dust, threadbare and motionless like a forgotten child’s toy that might never bring joy or bright smiles again.

Hand over hand with bubbling hope, the child searched through leaves for any trace of life or light or laughter, any scraps of words or tails of kites that might unhide themselves in the tell-tale breeze. Then a reconnecting squeal of delight severed the silence. ‘You found me,’ the old man’s voice trembled, washing his tired spirit new like a breeze and a river and a kite taking flight.

‘I never forgot where to look,’ the small, white-haired boy replied. ‘The stars appear and disappear each day, turning days into endless years. Yet still this tree stands where it has always been.’

‘Another year has passed indeed,’ the old man lamented, the twinkle in his eye clouded by the threat of tears. ‘Once more, I am reminded that I am older than the universe itself.’

‘Yes,’ the child replied, ‘But you are as young as the universe too. You are the moon, but I am a star. A moon by itself is not a universe. Nor can a universe be made of a single star. I have climbed here today to show you the galaxy.’

The old man trembled as he received into his ancient hands the small box the child proffered. Actually, it seemed more like a wordless book than a box, and as he opened the cover, a galaxy of tiny paper stars and planets swirled endlessly before his eyes.

‘One day your time will come to join the stars,’ the little boy explained. ‘But until that time, you hold the stars within your hands, inside a book you must learn to read so that you might never forget what it means to be a child, though others might not understand.’

The old man closed the cover, forever protecting the paper stars that the child had cut one by one from coloured paper with tiny hands. And he sighed to know how painstakingly the little boy had glued and glittered each one, so that when light touched them, they would beam like cosmic jewels to remind him of the life he had now and the universe that would some day embrace him. And though he was eternally grateful, he also felt a sadness well inside him, for the child who had found him hidden in the tree was not the one he had most wished to see.

‘It has been so long,’ the old man’s voice trembled, ‘since the laughter of the little girl with pink bows in her hair filled these branches. I am truly afraid she has forgotten how to climb. Once upon a time she used to hang her tiny butterflies from long pieces of glittery string; I would hear her giggle from some distant place when I discovered what she had left for me to find. But now it has been so long, I am sure she has forgotten.’

Then the small child realised that the old man did not understand. ‘She is the one who sent me here! She is the one who cut out each star by hand. She is the one who gave each star its shine and placed each one inside this box for you. It may seem as though she has forgotten everything, but on certain days, her memory is awakened, and the universe that dances inside her smile flows only in the direction of this ancient tree. She knows that today is your special day, and she alone has sent me here with this gift for you.’

And as the old man’s weathered eye released a tired tear of relief, it washed down his cheek, smoothing the ripples that time had etched upon his ancient face. As more tears fell, they washed him clean and new, smudging the furrowed lines and erasing the countless years since childhood was all that he might ever know. Even now as he looked at the hand he lifted to brush the next tear away, he marvelled at how small it was, how totally devoid of any sign that he might be growing older rather than younger.

Opening the book shaped box once more, he drew from beneath the paper stars a tiny planet, made of glass so shiny and pure that it reflected his image back to his eyes so that he knew for certain now that he was indeed only a small, white-haired boy. The old man still sat beside him on the branch, but in the long distant future, gently reminding him to take all the time in the world to be a child, to marvel in the mystery of all that it meant to be so young and small.

And as the sun began to set, the boy sat quietly, his leg dangling over the branch, humming a tune, completely alone. The old man and his box of paper stars had faded into some future time and space. The child breathed the crisp air into his tiny lungs, infused with the strange scent of magical winter leaves that grew only on this tall tree while all other trees bore the barest branches. An early star shot across the dusky sky, and the child closed his eyes to whisper his wish. Today was his special day. He kept his eyes scrunched tightly closed til he was certain he could hear the almost forgotten sounds of another child’s steps skipping with delight in the sparkling starlight.

Wishing the happiest birthday ever to my dear friend, LP – may all your wishes come true today and always – Angelica 🙂 🙂 🙂

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It’s the tinkling bell sound crickets make,

As the sun sets golden on the sand.

The waves that lap upon the shore,

Where paper boats return to land.

 

Where imaginings of the dreaming child,

Are hidden in the words he asks.

In the misty moonlight softly bathed,

He gathers stars within his grasp.

 

To spread upon the earth below,

From the highest branches of the Tree.

Laughing as he gazes out,

At all the wonders that he sees.

 

Within the darkness of the forest fare,

The faeries dance to merry tunes.

Where lamp lights glow with candles bright,

Shadows play from light of moon.

 

Where the magic of some simple words,

Is formed from memories long past.

Written in the ‘Book of Dreams’,

Within the Tree from where they’re cast.

 

Upon a dragonfly is carried,

All his hopes and dreams so true.

Silken wings in moonlight glow,

Starlight on the diamond dew.

 

Within the sky an ethereal glow,

Stretches far as eyes can see.

Spread amongst the stars that shine,

Like children smiling down on me.

 

Quietly I sit once more,

Where shadows stretch across the ground.

Senses charged in ready wait,

Listening for that all familiar sound.

 

Echoed laughter fills the air,

Reminding of what used to be.

Will the old man ever find the child,

With time I’m sure that I will see.

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The little girl climbed the tree rather tentatively as it had been a long while since her small hands had clasped the rough branches. She was not truly frightened, but some days she wondered whether she had somehow forgotten the strength and agility needed to ascend to the lofty heights of the familiar branch which had borne her weight so many times in the past. After such a long absence, everything seemed so strange and familiar at the same time, and that in itself seemed very strange.

The boy was not here, but everywhere there was evidence that he had never been far away. Glittery blue dragonflies dangled from odd lengths of string, not just from one branch but in fact from them all. She smiled then giggled as she brushed past them; how her imagination set them free from their strings and sent them into frantic, blissful hovers, each wing moving in a different direction to achieve their magically perfect stillness, like falcons riding the rolling wisps of wind, suspended from distant clouds.

Yes, the tree was full of dragonflies, their gossamer wings glistening in the tranquil sunny haze. It took some time to spot any butterflies at all, and when she finally found them, they were somehow dull and faded and tattered from neglect. They looked like lost whispers, like tired, grubby napkins. Like a child’s toy – once cherished, now almost forgotten. Yet somehow the small child’s presence in the tree filtered soft rainbow prisms of light onto their tired paper wings, spinning ever so softly so that one might think they might almost twirl back to life. She took a breath, and exhaled slowly, savouring the air, the light and life itself.

The next time the young boy climbed, the magical breeze blew against his skin like a whispered secret. He brushed past many twigs that scratched his arms and legs as he searched for what he knew he would find. He darted between the dragonflies he had suspended from every hopeful branch. He scanned for shimmers of colour amongst the myriad of worn butterflies, but everything was old and nothing was new. Disappointed as he had been so many times in the past, he lowered his back against the tall trunk, one foot upon the branch, the other barefooted leg dangling like lost hope.

Idly, his fingers played along the rough bark of the branch that held him. The tree that once had been so young and vibrant had now grown to ancient wisdom; every furrow of bark was familiar. The next moment, something felt strange to his touch, small and soft, somewhere between the feel of bark and leaves. Careful not to dislodge the tiny unseen mystery, he bent down carefully to see whatever secret his branch now held. The magical breeze blew again, and with great care the wide-eyed boy made his way back down to the earth’s thick carpet of leaves.

Though excitement flickered through his thoughts like a ripple, he knew he would need to be more patient than he had ever been before. It might be a very long time before the chrysalis would transform, but when it finally did, the stained glass mosaic of butterfly wings would bring a new flush of colour and renewal to the tree’s ancient branches. He had already waited a very long time. And now as he looked back over his shoulder to the silhouette of the tree in the fading sunlight, he knew he could wait just a little longer, and maybe even forever, for a new butterfly to emerge.

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The ocean sound so wild as it crashes on the pebbled shore,

White foam forming on the beach as the waves come in once more.

Dark clouds drifting overhead to hide the deep blue sky,

As I stand and stare in awe at a single seabird drifting by.

 

At times I think of many things the thoughts of days long past,

Searching for the hopes and dreams from wishes I have cast.

Then there are the paper boats that sail horizons far,

Carried deep into the night searching for that guiding star.

 

I listen for the laughter that once filled the valley green,

Echoed from the deepest branches of the friendship tree.

Now as I walk quietly, fingers stretched to brush the daisies pink,

I hear the whispers on the wind that carry words to make me think.

 

Now the leaves they shimmer in the subtle starlight glow,

My imagination running wild of thoughts of all the things I know.

As I sit alone within the branches mobiles spinning wild and free,

An apparition comes and goes reminding me of what used to be.

 

So all I ask is if you find the time to come and climb,

You know there is a place to rest amongst the dragonflies.

Where butterflies all flutter hanging from the finest silken thread,

Words released into the night as they spin so slowly overhead.

 

I am a little white haired boy who spreads his magic now and then,

And you are just a little girl that I have called my friend.

One day soon we’ll climb the tree and sit there for a while,

Sharing stories that we know and giving just a simple smile.

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Like a candle in the breeze he flickered and faded before coming to life once more, and as his thoughts came and went,  he felt like he was a drowning child trying to keep his head above the water’s surface, grasping into thin air with his outstretched hands, waiting and hoping that someone would finally come and save him. His tiny body lay submerged, holding onto his last breath for what seemed like forever as he fought to stay alive, but then was it really him or the Tree that now wavered?
 
The visions had come and gone and the small boy stood with his eyes tightly closed as he ran his hands across the rough tan and grey bark that was ridged deep with lines like fingerprints which lay embedded in the surface of the broad tree trunk. It stood tall and wide, and in the breeze the leaves rustled like tiny strips of sand paper rubbing together, making a sound like gentle summer rain on a rusty tin roof. It had been a long while since he had taken the time to allow his senses to stir, feel so deeply so that he had became one once more with the Tree, and as he did he felt that something was not quite right. As flecks of bark broke between his tiny fingers, so he remembered that it was only with words, which were air and water, that the Tree could be sustained and of late they had been few and far between. He climbed into the Tree, and standing quietly he looked at how empty it had become, the desolation was almost tragic, with the bedraggled remains of the last of the butterflies and dragonflies, hanging like glistening raindrops on string. As he wondered he struggled to comprehend it all, at the same time digging deep into himself to find where it was he went wrong. He gazed at the ‘Book Of Dreams’ with its cobweb laden cover, and he brushed it clean, giving a final puff of breath to blow the last of the dust away that had fallen upon it. He sat down and reflected on the past and the wishes that had been cast, and he wondered to himself, ‘if only I had made a wish for me, what would it be?’ He had known no other way than to look at what others needed, it was something that he believed was his responsibility, as if wearing his magical blue coat had come with some ingrained proviso, and then he did get something, it was the smiles that were more precious than the stars. 
 
As he thought, a vision formed upon the branch where his friend would usually sit, an apparition of a young girl with her hair tied in pink bows, smiling widely across at him. Of all the times and all the mysteries that had materialised before his deep, ever wondering bright blue eyes, he had never imagined that he would find himself faced with this vision that now sat before him. The butterflies and dragonflies took shape once more and they spun in the sunlight that filtered through the leaves of the Tree, the breeze that brushed against them made them hum like the fast beating wings of a tiny bird. The air became a whir and the small girl reached out as if to grasp at the delicate glittering objects as they spun wildly, and then in a moment she vanished once more as though she had never been there at all. The mobiles began to slow down and as they dangled in the soft dusk glow, their colours reflected across his face and filled his mind with the many memories of the words that they contained, the many words that could now be found in the ‘Book Of Dreams’. With his long blue coat wrapped tightly around his body, he climbed down from the Tree and there standing with his feet firmly planted, he looked towards the wheat field searching for any sign of the bright bushy tail of the little fox that he had come to know and tame some time ago. He cut a path through the tall grasses, running his finger tips across the coarse husks as they brushed on by his long slender legs, and as he searched he listened for the tell tale sound of laughter he remembered from long ago. 
 
He paused for a moment, and as he did he heard a sound, a soft whimper drifting on the breeze from nearby. He followed the sound, returning to the path and as he stepped upon the rough pebbled surface he looked along it and there, not far away he found the little fox looking tired and worn. He approached carefully so as not to alarm it, then he knelt beside the fox and as he did so it looked up at him with sorrowful eyes. He could tell that like the vision of his friend before, it too had begun to fade, and that the life had begun to subside from its being. The small boy sat close, and in the fading light the deep blue of the daytime sky gradually transformed into a soft silken blue, before the pink and orange tones began to slide across it, reaching out to the darkness in the distance and pulling forth nights veil with the colours receding once more below the horizon. As the daylight faded, it was as though a million eyes were opening one by one from their slumber and looking down upon him. The stars shimmered like tiny tears that the night wept, like a handful of diamonds, but more precious than the much sought after stones. He stared at the distant southern horizon and admired the slow dance of the infinite stars as they drifted into view and then  disappeared once more, rising and falling as quickly as they came. 
 
It was mesmerisingly beautiful, capturing his gaze like a child holds fast to the vision of the dragonfly that sits quietly within his upturned palm, glistening wings reflecting rainbow magic in the sunlight. The sounds of the the forest added to the mystique in the night and as the boy and the fox sat quietly, the heady aroma of the perfume laden night air drifted and filled their senses. The little fox lay its head upon the soft bed of flattened grass and closed its eyes, with the small boy watching over it whilst he listened to the all the sweet sounds he had come to know and thought of days gone past. He had never expected they would meet again, and a story from long ago reminded him that sometimes friends come and go yet he had held onto hope as he so often did that it would be once more. He closed his eyes and upon the breeze he was carried away like a dream into the darkest places of the mind. Here anything was possible, almost anything could come true, and nothing really mattered, because with the dawns light it would all fade and the realities of life would grasp hold of his fragile body as if it were being tossed upon the stormy ocean and dump him into what ever realm it had chosen.
 
In his mind he was a prince. Not a normal prince, but one whom spent his time in search of the mysteries that filled his days with wonder, like the glittering of water drops that hung, suspended from the tiny leaves of a forest tree, reflecting the image of anyone that should choose to stop and admire. As they shimmered in the breeze, the images that could be seen danced like they were captured in time for any that chose to look. There was a chill in the air and the night winds howled through the trees like the call of a lone wolf in the deepest darkest reaches of the forest searching in vain for something lost long ago, and the chill it brought was like death as it threatened to wrap him in its cold embrace. He remembered many a frosty morning when the small boy would come across the frozen dragonfly, clinging to the last bit of life as it lay motionless upon a blade of grass, covered in tiny flecks of ice, almost like snow flakes. The fox remained beside him all this time, fast asleep and oblivious to the small boys wonderings, with a tiny twitch every now and again as it dreamed about something that only it could know. The small boy reached deep into the pocket of his jacket and with his fumbling fingers he removed a small handful of magic and sprinkled it upon the fox, making a wish for good health and fortune to return. As the small boy wiped the strands of white hair from his eyes, he thought about the magic of the Tree and how it was far greater than could ever be perceived by a small child. How it could reach deep into the mind and extract most every thought that ever existed there, at the same time carefully wrapping them in the finest silken cloak protecting them from those that may wish to shatter them like broken dreams, scattered in pieces on the ocean of life and lost forevermore.
 
The darkness in the sky began to fade once more, and one by one the stars disappeared for another day, giggling as they went. The mother sun was rising to put her children to bed, and as the small boy stared into the bright orange orb, his face was bathed in its soothing light with the wispy clouds that filled the sky dancing off into the distance. There was a chill in the air, but a warmth filled him, sending a little shiver through his body as it absorbed the first rays of the morning light that radiated as the new day had begun. The warmth bathed the little fox and as she woke she gave a smile, then climbed to her feet before the small boy giggled and turned once more to look at the Tree, now silhouetted before him. As the clouds shifted shape, awash in the warming tones, it was like a dream turning to reality before his eyes. He thought about the past and how it was intertwined into the future, and now the hope for what the future may hold once more with a wish come true for him. Stirred by a familiar sound he turned his gaze from the tree and the fox was gone, yet in the distance a whispering voice came echoing to him upon the breeze, “I shall return my friend, I shall return.” Her laughter could be heard echoing through the forest, and he laughed back, smiling widely.
 
Today there were no paper boats, and no wishes upon stars, just a small boy and the Tree, contented with what he knew life had to offer, never fearful of what the darkness brings because sometimes it is what we wish for. After all are not some of the best things in life born from our wildest dreams.
 

 

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