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What is it that a child sees within their mind? What dreams will come true, unfolding then drifting like the mists of time as they traverse the known and the unknown realms that exist within the deepest reaches of time and space? Could the innocence of a child be all that was needed to open the door to that mystical, magical place that rides parallel to that which we know? Is this the place through which paper boats laden with thoughts and wishes shall sail, going far beyond the horizon to the nether reaches of the widest oceans before returning, ragged, but intact all the same, carrying the answers to the questions that we have sent?

As the small boy stood with his arm outstretched, he waved his hand as if it held a mighty sword, yet within his steely grip was a simple pen and in his other hand was a single piece of parched white paper upon which he had scrawled but a few carefully chosen words. The sun shone brightly bathing him in its soft yellow glow as it held fast for the last part of the day, and the stiff breeze that blew from across the dark blue ocean stung his skin as it carried the salt filled air. His coat battered against his leg like a loose tent flap in a storm, with a hollow, yet sharp sound like that of a cracking whip. He stared across the ocean into the distant unknown and there, just above the horizon, the vapours of a large dark cloud twisted and turned into shape. His eye in tune with a wild imagination saw large dragon form, bathed in the red glow of the sun, and from its mouth spewed forth the electric blue fire of lightning and the rolling roar of thunder that accompanied it carried across the ocean to where he stood in awe. So much never did cease to amaze him, and so often he would stand alone and ponder the intricacies of life and death.

Elsewhere, a small girl huddled in the solitude of The Garden of Life. The soft pink bows that tied her long dark hair and the pink runners with spangled sparkly pink laces gave only a little away of who she really was. She watched as the glow of the dragonfly and butterfly ornaments that adorned her garden bed changed colour before her ever wondering eyes like a rainbow light show. Some time ago she fell from the Tree, bruised and battered from the blows that life had dealt her and it was here that she landed, here that she felt safe and secure in a place full of blissful moments that would sustain her when no other moment could. It was warm like a soft feather doona, and on the darkest of nights with a clear sky, she could count the millions of stars that shone from above, carrying her back for just a moment to where she would grab a fleeting glimpse of her past. Long gone were the memories that had filled her days with joy and laughter, replaced by the careful, considered thoughts and words that now filled her life. Yet she was gaining greater courage with each passing day and week, and although she did not realise it yet, the time would come once more where the magic of being a child would carry her away.

He was small, but he was strong, with his words belying the true self that he had become, and as the sun bade him farewell for another day, so the stars began to twinkle in the blackness of the night, greeting him like a million children all wanting to share in the wonders his words would bring. He turned his back to the dragon in the distant sky that had faded like so many of his childish dreams, and he walked slowly along the path that wound its way through the undulating sand dunes, marked by the finger print lines of the wind. The ripples in the sand twisting and weaving like a snake from a story he once knew, ready to pounce and take him if it so chose. No longer did the stiff winds batter his tiny body, instead replaced by a soft breeze that now carried him in a drifting state as though his tiny feet did not touch the ground. Onward he went, into the Magic Forest, where fireflies danced like tiny candles suspended from an invisible string, their light painting him in an eerie glow as they went about their business. Faeries darted here and there, every now and again coming in for an inquisitive look, before disappearing once more, visible to only those that believed in their existence, and he certainly believed they were real.

With his long white hair and blue jacket he was a sight to behold as he bounded here and there, with the exuberance of the imaginative child that he was. Often he would pause and turn quickly as he tried to spy some cheeky faerie as it played hide and seek with him, giving a little giggle each time he succeeded in catching a glimpse. “Hello,” he called as he stood in the clearing, but all that returned was an echo from the hidden places deep within the forest. He called again, this time louder with more purpose, at the same time with a saddening desperation that his friend for whom he searched may hear his cry. Again it was only his echo that responded, with the fading repeat as it bounced from tree to tree. He had sailed many paper boats and for fleeting moments she had shown herself, but like a ghost on a calm dark night, she would appear and then fade to be lost once more, never managing to grasp her dreams for much longer than she felt safe. He looked mournfully around, yet here and now in the stillness of the forest he knew that she may not come again, but he could only believe.

As the stars sparkled overhead, through the clear roof of her garden, she looked to find just one that may come to life and smile ever brightly upon her. Ever so carefully she climbed to her feet, stretching her weary body and offering a tiny yawn before sliding the door to her Garden open.  She peered out into the dark distance with all the unknowns obscured by the shadows cast, yet she felt compelled to take another step beyond the comfort and safety she had found. She had been stirred by a soft familiar sound which had now faded into the hum that filled her head and in the darkness she had felt drawn to some far off place, but still a part of her was tied to where she had been hiding. In the starlight, an old metal swing glistened, smudged with the brown rust of time, and it creaked as it moved ever so slightly in the breeze as if calling her to sit once more, encouraging her to break the bonds that had restrained her for so long now. As she stepped through the doorway, she let her fingers slip free from her hold on the last piece of what had protected her, and at the same time she let her mind drift almost becoming numb until she found herself sitting alone upon the wrought iron etched seat of the swing.

She felt a calmness wash over her, and as she looked at the scars carried by the nearby statue, so she saw herself, recovering from what she had endured and this put her even more at ease because it was a sign of what could be where there once was no hope. As she sat in contemplation, the last chirping of the small birds that filled her garden could be heard emanating from the nearby bushes in which they had made their homes, and it was as if she understood the stories they were telling of what the day had delivered for them. With the calmness that surrounded her, she began to drift back into that childlike state in which her memories had begun to stir once more, and she began to wonder now if it could ever be the same again. She could only believe, but she did not want to be dashed upon some rocky shore, never to be found, so she would be cautious and only time would tell what was to be.

Of all the things that he had seen and known, there was no one thing that stood out more in his imagination than any other, and as he stood in the opening of the magic forest, he gazed all around. The many dreams, the many tales came flooding back into his mind like a giant picture show that played his life like one big fairy tale. He was mesmerised by it all and the journey that he and his small friend had taken before she disappeared. They had sought out courage and strength, truth and believing and with this they had conquered the darkness and set alight the candle of life that still burned strong. They had seen the best and the worst that the world had to offer, but they had never once given up, and the Magic Forest stood as a testament to who they had become. As he looked, he could see the twinkling of the first star with all its magic and wonder, and nearby the tiny dragonflies and butterflies that flitted from flower to flower in the soft dusk light, each with its own purpose, each with its own meaning in the cobweb that life had woven magically for them.

As the last ray of the sun burst from beyond the horizon, it reached out like a finger pointing, and it reflected from the distant ivory tower, sending a glint of light as a reminder that some thing’s still remained and that only with time and patience would they be tamed. The rainbow colours that had adorned it had been replaced once again by the stark white paint of before, yet he hoped that his tiny friend would see beneath that. He hoped she would remember what it had become and the adventure that had unfolded on a bright summer’s day a long while ago when she had been rescued from its upper most confines.

He heard a sound, and as he turned he saw a fox dancing in the nearby wheat field, as if chasing some imaginary child as is leapt here and there. As he watched the fox, he remembered a tale from his past and although he could see the fox he wondered if like his friend it was truly there or just vision from that parallel world which may or may not exist alongside our own. He turned his gaze looking once more deep into the night sky with all the stars that now shone like tiny diamonds, and then to the deeper colours of space that made this canvas upon which they were laid even more wondrous. A shooting star raced across the sky, burning bright then fading, and as it did he cast his wish before it disappeared into the distance behind the tall wide silhouette of the Friendship Tree. If he did not know better, he would have imagined that it had landed within the Tree itself but then that was the magic of his simple imagination.

Sitting quietly on the metal swing, the small girl felt the breeze of a butterfly kiss upon her cheek, and as she did so she closed her eyes to dream. Ever so slowly the old metal swing began to squeak as she was rocked back and forth. The sound was reminiscent of the old see saw on which she had found herself not too long ago, and as she opened her eyes, the soft light of the rising moon lit up her smile and for just a moment she thought she saw the silhouette of a dragonfly she had once known. She closed her eyes once again and in a moment a shadow flickered upon her eyelids, tempting her to open them once more. As she slowly opened her eyes, she sat aghast at the ethereal form of the small boy that wandered before her, side to side as if searching for something he had lost, yet he did not see her. He was calling for her, and even as she called back, he could not hear. He came close to where she sat on the swing and with her tiny fingers she stretched to touch him, calling his name as the swing made its forward motion, but as she did, so he disappeared. This left her with a lost and empty feeling as though the future had come then gone in the instant that was time as she had come to know it.

In the distance a voice called softly and she placed her feet on the ground stopping the swing in mid motion, and as she listened intently the familiar call drew her from the darkness of where she had been into the eerie glow of the moon. At the same time the small boy also heard a familiar voice and as he watched, a soft light began the radiate from the Tree in the distance. The fox stopped what it was doing, then turned and watched as the smile on the face of the small boy grew ever wider before it too was drawn forward, cautiously moving to where the Tree stood bold and strong. The small girl had let go of all that had held her, abandoned all the fear that had so consumed her, and as she ran, the laces on her pink runners danced like octopus tentacles to a silent tune. As she came closer to the tree, she recognised the shape that was her friend on the path that wound from the forest in the other direction and she called, as did he. They both stopped at the bottom of the tree, puffing and panting.

“Where have…….” She stopped him before he could say another word and she explained as best she could. “I tried, and I knew that everything would be alright, but at the same time I just could not see as clearly as I usually do.” He wanted to say something but she was so full of words and after all his paper boats he was glad to just let her speak. “I had forgotten it all, everything that I had learnt, all the simple things you had shown me, and worst of all I had become lost in my own little world, drowning in everything that had overcome me.”

He needed not say anything in return, because he understood and all that mattered was that she was back. A soft mist began to drift across the valley floor like the white foam on the incoming ocean tide. It tickled their feet as it rolled across their shoes, drifting in tiny wisps of vapour. The fox stood there, first raising one paw, then replacing it before raising another in astonishment as the mist wrapped itself around it. The two friends climbed into the tree, and lifted the fox up with them, and as the mist filled the valley floor, all around them looked like the ocean. In the pale moonlight, the fox lay its head upon the wide branch and fell asleep, whilst the two friends talked in endless conversation, making up for the time that they had not spoken over the long last while. This was not the end, nor was it the beginning. It was where they were now, it was where the journey they were on had placed them and they knew that there were more adventures, more wonders to be seen, greater lessons to be learned. Today there would be no magic, no more than the simple words written on this page, the magic of words on their own. For now they were just two friends sitting in a tree, filling the Book Of Dreams with words that told of something unique, but at the same time something that others would one day embrace and find of their own as well.

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As another paper boat begins,

To sail the stormy seas,

The winds will blow and stir the waves,

To bring what there may be.

But sometime on the journey,

In the waters cool embrace,

Calm will fall upon it,

In a very special place.

Where birds will fly and call aloud,

Between the water and the stars,

And all the wishes to be made,

Will make us who we are.

Where dreams come true because they can,

In minds that truly see,

The wonders of imaginations,

Of all that there can be.

A part of us resides within,

The words all written there,

Carried on the tide of life,

To live without a care.

And when one day the boat returns,

And lights upon the shore,

The words all written on it,

Will be remembered for ever more.

Paper Boats And Wishes

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He stood overlooking the rolling valley in the soft evening light, with the Tree bathed in the glow of the sun’s golden rays. His long blue coat with its polished buttons flapped in the breeze, gently tapping on his legs like a small child seeking his attention, with the buttons making a tinkety tink. As he studied all that lay before him, he watched as the wheat field swayed like the surface of the ocean with an ever changing texture. He glanced in the direction of the Tree and as he looked closer he thought he saw with his tiny eyes a glint of light as it reflected from within the Tree, and as he concentrated harder he could hear the smallest sound of laughter echoing from within. ‘No, it can’t be,’ he thought to himself, but there it was again, ‘surely not?’ Excitedly he ran through the wheat field, nearly falling as his tiny legs almost lost all control as he leaped and bounded on his way, and when he finally stood at the bottom of the Tree, he waited and he listened intently. The laughter was still there, but it had become weaker, almost more distant as if fading into obscurity far from the deepest reaches of his imagination as if drifting away from where it had begun.

He climbed the Tree to where he would usually sit and once inside he gazed around, but there was not a single soul to be found, not a sign that anyone had been here in the last while. He bowed his head and he wondered, then as the breeze blew through the dangling green leaves he heard it once more. He turned then looked overhead and there he noticed the familiar sight of a mobile with the remnants of shattered butterflies suspended precariously from the fragile pieces of string. As it wavered in the light he saw one final in tact butterfly, the last one hung from a rainbow coloured string and as it span in the breeze so the softest laughter could be heard. He thought to a time not long ago and he remembered this one, the rescue one, the one that had sacrificed all to search for the small boy that had drowned in all his sorrow and self-pity, the one that told of the lengths to which friends will go for one another. He approached it cautiously, with the light reflecting like a kaleidoscope from its silken wings and as he did so it fell, and with an outstretched hand he grasped and held on tightly so that it would not disintegrate on the barren ground below as so many others had.

Held now tightly within his tiny palms, he could see that whilst it was the same one, there was now more. Its words told of misfortune and despair, joy and suffering and waiting for the joy once more, but how could he be so sure, was that the laughter mingled with a sadness? He thought long and hard, and then he climbed down from the Tree, planting his feet firmly on the desolate earth below with a tiny puff of dust as he landed. He stepped away from the canopy that shielded him, and as he stood there with the hum of the night echoing he looked deep into the night sky. He reached out and grasped a small piece of the delicate velvet that spanned the sky which in turn held the many stars of hope in his vision and then he clenched his fist and took a piece in his hand. He made a soft velvet bag and he placed the delicate butterfly within mingled with just a few stars for protection, and as he did it began to stir before he closed the bag tightly. In the distance the light radiated from the magic forest and the faintest sounds of the faeries and elves carried upon the breeze to where he stood, their songs drawing him towards them. He trod the path of fortune that he had travelled so often before and as he reached the forest he watched in wonder as the small ones danced and sprinkled their magic dust upon the ground around them. He watched in amazement as everywhere it landed tiny flowers grew, in pinks and reds and blue, and dragonflies flitted carefree here and there. ‘Was this life giving, did it really have the magic he had come to find?’ he thought to himself. He thought no more and he quickly gathered some of faerie dust and he placed it inside the black bag alongside the butterfly mobile and stars, and as he did so the butterfly began to stir to life with its delicate wings fanning slowly like the beat of a tiny heart, which brought a smile to his face.

His soft blue eyes sparkled in the moonlight as he stood looking out from where the forest met the wheat field once more, and he watched as a fox danced in the moon’s glow. He sat quietly, unseen, admiring the enthusiasm with which she moved, full of life, full of believing, not a care in the world. Then as he looked on a flash of light raced across the sky, exploding like a firework and sprinkling hundreds of tiny stars across the land and like little diamonds they sparkled here and there and he searched through the field gathering each and every one of them adding them to his magical collection. Everything inside the bag now glowed bright and strong and the energy it contained was stronger than any he had made before. All this time with his concentration so intense on his task, he did not see that the fox had stopped and was looking on with a smile on her face, because she understood who he was and what it was he was seeking. He had nearly filled the bag but he wanted more, so he looked to the sky and his favorite constellation of Orion where stars are born, and he reached deep into it with his mind. With his imagination he gathered up a handful of the brightest ones that would shine like only a candle could shine, and he placed them into the bag as well.

With his prize held firmly, he made his way back to the Tree and he climbed inside with the silence all around him. There was still no sign that any one had been there and he wondered if they ever would again, but then maybe there was still time? He went to the Book of Dreams and he tore out some of the blank pages it contained and placed them inside like tiny blank butterflies waiting to be filled with words, then he took a single piece and put it in his coat pocket. Before he closed the bag to protect all that it contained, he made a tiny dragonfly.

 

Believing in the one you are,

Thoughts that give you strength and hope,

Words that carry you away,

At times when you don’t think you’ll cope.

 

Laughing in the morning sun,

Crying in the midday rain,

Then smiling at the stars that shine,

Because like you they’ll shine again.

 

For each and every star that falls,

A wish awaits for you to make,

A dream come true in times to come,

With every little step you take.

 

The stars you hold within your hands,

Are gathered there for you to see,

So even in your darkest hours,

You will pull through it’s your destiny.

 

He finished and put this into the bag, and then he placed his hand into a hole in the solid trunk of the Tree, searching with his tiny fingers, and when he removed it he was holding a small candle, like the light of life to be shared, to glow when the darkness was at its worst, a reminder of all that life is and ever will be. His treasure was now complete, the magic was captured, and now he placed the bag where his friend would usually sit with her pen and paper in hand and then he turned, but before climbing down he made a wish. It was a wish he would not share, but a wish just the same, a wish upon the star that he had seen earlier and had waited to use. He climbed down from the Tree with its rough-hewn bark and as he stood there, all was silent. The forest was asleep and the fox was gone, but as he always knew, the stars still shined, they would always shine, they would always smile and their laughter would be heard by all those that believed. He knew his friend believed just as he did, and he only hoped that his gift could give her the strength that his words had so often given before. Only time would tell, but like before he truly believed and he would never let any other thought cross into the enquiring mind of the child she was, and that one day she would realise her wildest dreams.

He sat now by the ocean blue, with his bare feet resting in the cool waters as if drawing from the magic that it offered. He took the piece of paper from his jacket pocket and he folded it carefully into the most wonderful of paper boats, and then he added some words of hope, of believing. In the moonlight, he watched as it set sail as so many had before in search of a dream. He had sprinkled this with some of his magic, yes his. He thought he was magic, no, he knew he was magic and his words would always be like air and water, they would always speak of all the positive things that life has to offer and they were there for all those less fortunate than he, all those that needed a helping hand. That was who he was and always would be and his happiness was found in the happiness that he gave to others, the most wonderful of gifts that costs nothing but a simple smile. He would wait here until this paper boat returned and he would hope that his friend would find the gift he left for her. Now as he sat quietly, the stars smiled down upon him and he smiled back, and the colours of the Milky Way glowed in reds and pinks, with just a touch of cobalt blue smudged across, intermingled amongst the stars. He laughed, and they laughed to. Yes life was a wonderful thing.

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‘It is so dark and cold,’ he thought to himself as he sat quietly with his mind drifting with the tide of thoughts that now filled it. He had watched as life had changed once more, and with sadness he had stepped closer to the precipice than ever before then glanced at the future and all that it held.

As the small girl climbed down from the nearby branch and planted her feet firmly on the barren ground, she glanced back for what seemed like one last time, then turned and walked quietly away. As she disappeared into the distance, he wondered and he hoped with all hope that one day people would understand. He remembered a day that now seems like a lifetime away, when by chance two people with the child inside met and spoke about all the things that they knew. He remembered how he had told her about his one true love, and she about hers, and how at that point a friendship was formed, based on the trust and integrity that true friendships were formed. He remembered how strange it was that in all his life he had never had a true friend, not one that truly wanted to understand and accept him for all his good and bad, without judgment, and that he had found that at last.

Now, in the cold light of day as the sun began to set, he wondered what would truly become, and as he looked around he saw that the leaves of the tree in which he sat alone were now covered in letters, and as they fell, so another grew just as quickly in its place. The leaves carpeted the ground below and as they did they formed words and then tales, tales that reminded him of the adventures he had taken, the imaginings that he had seen, the wonders that had transformed from his tiny hands. He was unsure of what he should do now, and for a moment he thought he could climb down from the Tree as well, but then it would die, and long ago he swore an oath to himself that he would be the keeper of the tree, to never let it wither and fade like so many trees he had seen before.

He looked out from the tree at all the beauty that existed, with the fields of flowing flowers, the rolling hills, the magic forest that was truly magic and the ocean so blue. It was there he spied an old man standing on a distant shore, with a tiny paper boat that had been folded with all the precision of a craftsman, held tightly in his hands. The water lapped gently at the old mans feet, and he stood quietly as if it were giving him the life that sustained him and he stood for ages and stared across the calm clear waters, with their shades of blue. He looked at the paper boat as he held it in his frail fingers, and he smiled the smallest of smiles as he took out a pen and upon it he wrote.

 

 

I came into this world,

A path to take unknown,

And as the journey it unfolded,

I feel that I have grown.

 

Wiser for the things I’ve seen,

The people that I knew,

The choices that I make in life,

In everything I do.

 

The lessons that I’ve learned,

The things that I have taught,

The dragonflies that twist and turn,

Which in my mind I caught.

 

Regrets I’ve only one,

And tis I shall only know,

And as I pass from this short life,

With me then it shall go.

 

But for now I ask of you,

As you read these very words,

Believe in all I have to say,

No greater truth will you of heard.

 

Sometimes what is unique,

Will never be explained,

Because it is not known before,

Not now or ever again.

 

That doesn’t mean that it can’t be,

Or ever be again,

I hope one day that you will find,

Yourself a very trusted friend.

 

 

The old man bent over carefully, feeling the aches and pains of age, then with a little push, he guided the paper boat and watched with hesitation as it was carried out to sea on the gentlest of breezes. Just as the vision began to fade, the small boy caught a glimpse of the old man as he turned, and there he saw a single tear sparkling like a diamond in the corner of his eye.

 

He knew the vision he saw was as a glimpse of what the future may hold, and yet he did not see himself as old, but the eternal child. It was just that others saw him old with their clouded eyes, and the fears that did not let them dream. His small body harbored many fears, but he had made a promise to himself that he would never be consumed by them, or let them consume the minds of others. He was little, but he was strong, and he would continue to be like air and water to the tree, so that one day others may know what he knew within his heart of hearts. He would share his tale with all that chose to listen, and he would open their minds, but would they truly believe what he had come to know.

 

As he sat and thought, with the stars all now smiling wildly in the sky above, he realized that it no longer mattered what others knew or believed, and that all that was important was that he knew it to be and that he understood what true friendship was. He felt sad that no other could think so clearly, and he prayed that with time his words would enlighten many, and until that day you will just have to take his word for it.

 

A Thought.

A true wise man is not a person who knows everything, but instead one who sees with an open mind and each day comes to understand more so that he can grow wiser still.

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He reached into the waste paper basket overflowing with the many crumpled pieces of paper, each one containing the remnants of words that had started to form stories only a short while ago. It was like reaching into a bucket of oversized popcorn, with his tiny fingers struggling take hold of more than a single piece at a time. One by one he removed the scrunched up balls and carefully un-crumpled and straightened them, running the palm of his hand over their surface. ‘No, not that one, nor that one,’ he thought. They were full of words, but not the ones that he would normally write, but then he had just spent the last few months where his focus was off the child that lived so freely inside, instead searching for words of strength, encouragement and believing, words that seemed to hold much more importance at the time of their writing.

Now as he searched, his mind drifted back to the very beginning, where words just seemed to materialize upon the paper, as if magically transformed from his wildest imagination. He was almost ready to give up all hope, when the slightest glimmer, like a distant star hidden deep amongst the other stars in the night sky, caught his eye. He carefully unwrapped it, and as he looked he realised it was not his best, but then he knew he could polish it, ‘just like a thunder egg,’ his friend would say. Yes, this was it, it was how it all began and it was how it needed to be again. As he began to read the words a smile formed on his face, because he could now see what would become.

“The young boy placed his hands on the rough bark of the tree, running his fingers over its surface. He closed his eyes, feeling every single line as he traced the shapes and imagined what it was that they were forming, the familiar shapes and faces that stirred in his mind. He thought how his senses came to life with the sounds that drifted from the distant forest with all the magic that could be found there.”

That was where the words ended, and as he sat in the illumination of the tiny lamp which he imagined was lit by a firefly, he took out a pen and he continued with the unfinished story.

As the boy continued to feel the coarseness of the tree beneath his hands, his thoughts turned into dreams and he imagined he was being carried upon the breeze, floating aimlessly at first before taking the form of a tiny dragonfly with a greater purpose. Following the path lined with daisies soft and pink like a cushion of swaying color, perfumed sweetly to stir the senses even further, he darted here and there as if searching for something. He reached the end, and hovered where the path met the forest, and as he did the soft glow of the firefly lanterns within welcomed him to venture inside. The lights formed a halo that penetrated the canopy of trees as if shielding it in a dome of light. The sweet song sounds of the fairies as they danced and played, with their tiny shadows moving rhythmically against the tree trunks were mesmerizing and this reminded him of the many stories he had told and the many that he longed to tell once more.

The child continued to run his fingers over the knotted wood of the tree trunk, and as he did his vision changed and as it did he found himself sitting quietly in the tree. There he watched as the pink butterfly mobiles, ragged and worn from the harshness they had been subjected to, began to spin, slowly at first then ever faster. The faded colors coming to brilliant life once more and sending out flickering rays of light, which made him smile and he could not help but feel that the journey he had taken had a purpose beyond the imagination that even he could not understand. One by one the butterflies took flight, free now to fly into the dark night sky, reflecting the magic of the stars above. They glistened and they sparkled as their wings fluttered, and he watched as one by one they faded into the dark distance free forever more.

As he sat and stared into the blackness of the night he thought about the words he had written, and he remembered how the words of his friend had drifted softly within the tree. He turned his head and hanging from the strand of pink glittery string like a single Christmas bauble, he saw one last butterfly. It had not left, but yet it was free to do so. He wondered and he held out his hand and it landed on his open palm, where its wings beat soft and slow. He could see the tiny words inscribed, though in the dim light he could not read them, but then maybe he did not need to. Whilst all other butterflies were ephemeral, this one was different, because this one remained as a living reminder of the many things that had been, and were yet to come.

He took his hands from the trunk of the Tree, and as he did the visions faded, and he stood silently waiting once more for his friends to arrive. ‘They would be here soon,’ he thought, and he sat patiently folding a tiny dragonfly that he may share with them when they did arrive.

As he put down the pen, and he read the story that he had just written, he smiled triumphantly. It was not magic like many others he had written before, but he could see his words once more returning. He could feel the child stirring deep inside and he knew that the time would come and soon he would write with the magic that he held so long ago. He carefully folded the piece of paper, and when he was done, he carried it to the waters edge. It was calm and cool with the sun’s light dancing on the surface as if teased by the tiny ripples, with a gentle breeze that blew softly out to sea. It was the perfect day, and as he waded into the cool clear water, he wondered once more? He carefully placed the paper boat on the surface of the water and he watched as it was carried on the current and the breeze. He hoped his friend might find it and that the words would carry her back to the Tree once more, where she would gently tie the smallest of butterflies for the entire world to see.

Only time will tell, but then he had time to wait and he believed.

The magic of words,

From the mind of a child,

From the thoughts that appear,

Imaginations run wild.

All written on paper,

And folded with care,

To sail on an ocean,

With all that waits there.

Words that will tell,

Tales of magic so true,

Words to inspire,

In whatever you do.

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Each and every day unfolds,
With a different outlook there,
The thoughts I had the day before,
Have changed some what again.

The many things I thought I want,
Were maybe others dreams,
Now I feel undecided with,
What I need to be.

I seek to find the truth now,
Of what it is that I must do,
But somewhere in my thoughts,
I think of others too.

Then a voice it balances,
Upon the precipice with me,
Assuring that the choice to make,
Is what I need to be.

Like an echo from a distant past,
Known a lifetime maybe more,
Telling me it is okay,
Reminding me I’ve walked this road before.

So now I know without regret,
The choices made I’ll see,
Will let me live the life I want,
Be what I need to be.

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The white haired boy stood alone on the water’s edge, staring out across the sea with its pale blue water and not a single ripple upon its mirror like surface. The clouds overhead were drifting like wisps of the finest cotton, stained in pinks and reds, draped carefully across the sky as the sun set upon the distant horizon. Their colours reflected within the water so still and the surreal vision stirred his mind, as did much that life had to lay before him. The tranquil sounds of a single eagle calling turned his head and for a moment he thought of the loneliness he had afforded himself in times gone past, and how those times had changed so, now that his friends were a part of his life.

More recently he remembered how the darkness had formed and threatened to alter what he had come to know, challenging his visions of the future and all that it held. He was magic, but then sometimes he wondered, because whilst he believed, he did not know if others did as well. Over the last weeks he had set afloat several paper boats, each sent out with a message of hope and a little magic, and as he watched, the tiniest white object could be seen in the distance being teased by the softest breeze, barely breaking the water’s surface. As it came closer, he could see it was battered and worn, yet it had weathered the storm. It was indeed the very first one sent and as he lifted it from the water with the tiny droplets shattering upon his feet as he stood, he noticed some new words written upon it, the message that was written read “All is well.” He smiled widely because he knew somewhere his friend was smiling too and as he turned his back on the ocean he so loved, and the soft light that the last of the evening sun played upon all it touched, he sent a thought for his friend. He made his way to the tree and his other friend whom he loved so dearly, to tell her the news.

The path was well worn and easy to follow, especially for a young boy whose mind was always so full of adventurous thoughts, and as he walked a single dragonfly, iridescent blue with rainbows bouncing off its wings flew close by as if watching over his journey. As he made his way through the magic forest, which had begun to stir with the faeries and elves preparing for some fun and frolicking on this night, he saw a tiny light with a glow soft, yet intense. It was a firefly and it flew erratically, then its light faded which left him thinking of how right now, the message returned upon the paper boat had dissolved his worries and sadness. He continued along the path, then he stopped, transfixed at where the forest ended and the field which led to the tree began. There, dancing in the moonlight he spotted a little fox, much like the one his friend had brought back to life not long ago when the tiniest liquid diamonds were formed, and a single red rose grew. The rose could still be seen near the fox and her celebrations were as if in thanks for what it meant to her. He remained quiet watching intently and before long the fox paused, and gave a quick glance in his direction, before smiling as only a fox can then disappearing into the wheat field nearby.

He had to tell his friend the news, and sooner than later, after all she had been as worried as he was, so he moved on quickly. When he reached the Tree she was waiting, and she eagerly poked her head through the branches enquiring. “So, do you have any news yet or do I need go search for myself.” The red ribbons that tied her hair dangled in front of her face and she blew them so she could see. She was impatient, but then she loved her friend in the pink overalls and he knew she had been as worried as he had been. He nodded his head in acknowledgement and she nearly fell from the branch as she went to clap her hands in excitement. He climbed the Tree and sat beside her, with the tiny butterfly mobiles spinning memories that filled the Tree and their minds. He unfolded the paper and he read to her the simple words that the message contained. She smiled at the words, because she knew that the first part of their little friends’ journey was completed. There were many more roads to travel and many twists and turns that hid from view all that the future still held, but now they knew for sure that they and the thoughts of many others would carry her and protect her from the darkness and its steely cold grip.

He thought carefully and wrote down these words in the Book of Dreams.

 

Today I found a paper boat,

Sailing on the silver sea.

A wish I’d sent some time ago,

Came back once more to me.

 

A thought contained on paper fine,

The magic wrapped within.

Woven with a tiny hand,

Where hopes and dreams begin.

 

A journey long that has begun,

As journeys often do.

Except this time it will be shared,

By many not a few.

 

So as we travel understand,

We’re with you all the while.

And all we ask for in return,

Is the gleaming of your smile.

 

Together they now sat wondering when they would see their friend once more, and as they did, the soft giggling echoed from the distance, followed by what sounded like a ‘Yeeee Haaaaw’. She was near, and they would meet soon, they just knew it.

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