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Archive for the ‘New Year’ Category

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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All the wonders of the forest unfolded before the small boys eyes, as the sun set slowly on the last day of the year. The birch trees, tall and slender, with their white paper bark sat motionless, bathed in the warm yellow glow at the end of the day. Nearby tiny birds could be heard singing their last joyful tunes in the fading light as if saying good night to one another after a long day, tucking themselves into their nests for the evening. The whistling hum of cicadas began to fill the air as the warmth of the day was replaced by the chill that a clear night sky would bring. The small boy pulled his blue jacket around himself, and ran his tiny fingers through his long white hair, flicking it back from where it had fallen across his soft blue eyes. His tiny fingers carefully fastened the golden buttons so that he could keep the cold away from his small body.

He lay on his back, with the tall grass and soft yellow daisies gently wrapping around him, and as he stared deep into the blue sky above, he could only begin to imagine all the wonders he would see as a hundred billion stars unfolded before him when night finally took hold. Staring into the sky, his view was framed by the green heart shaped leaves that melded into the blue as it grew deeper in tone. Strange sounds could be heard in the distant reaches of the forest and in his imagination he formed creatures with large ears and noses, and fur that was long and white, with large clawed paws that left foreboding footprints where ever they went. That they even existed was highly unlikely in anywhere but his mind, but then that was what young boys did, especially this one. All his thoughts were intermingled with just a touch of reality then told in stories bold and full of fantasy, yet with the vigor of a seasoned storyteller.

He would often smile to himself as he watched the look of amazement on his friend’s face as he recounted journeys that had only ever been taken in dreams, yet were always so much fun to share. “Shhh, listen and you can hear them stir,” he would say as the breeze opportunistically rustled a nearby bush. “I think the faeries are here to play. Don’t turn now, but there it one just over your shoulder.” The smiles would form and then without even daring to turn she would ask. “Tell me what it looks like?” He would pause, then with a cursory glance he would begin. “Well she is not much bigger than my hand, and she is wearing satin and lace, in rainbow colors, with her hair tied in a single pony tail. Her wings are glistening in the sun, and her eyes are like magic and wonder rolled into one, ready to cast a spell on any that she may see fit to do so.” “Go on,” his friend would ask as he paused in thought. “There is nothing more I can tell you.” He would say as he smiled in return.

Today, in this moment he was on his own, and his thoughts and imaginings were all his to have and he could just believe without any further explanation. In the forest the shadows of the trees had begun to reach out, stretching like tiny fingers over the undulating fields that lay between him and the Tree, and as the light grew dimmer, so the shadows faded into the darkness that had gradually taken over. Within the forest, the glow of tiny firefly lanterns began to illuminate the trees and the forest floor, with a gentle breeze making them sway, with their painted light bringing the forest to eerie life.  His eyes followed the path as it wove its way to where it divided into two, and in the fading light the path to the left disappeared into the mist and the ruins that lay beyond. At times like this, he would just sit and listen, with ears pricked, to the faint sounds of children laughing, and the reassuring voice of the old man that protected them all. So often he wished to join them, but he knew his place was here keeping the Tree alive with his words, and so it was he remained.

Dew drops hung with a delicate grip from the tiny tendrils of the small ferns that dotted the forest floor, sparkling in the starlight like tiny diamonds. Ever so slowly the forest began to come to life as the creatures stirred from their daytime slumber, stretching and yawning as they wiped the faerie sleep dust from their eyes. As he stood and turned his back on the forest, the glow cast his shadow long, and he raised his arm so that his shadow touched the very base of the Tree. He walked from the twisted, knotted entrance of trees with their dangling branches flicking against his hair, and as he stepped into the wheat field he could see the ghostly forms of children that had long ago disappeared from his memory. They ran and played, laughing with echoed cries as if taunting him to bring them to life once more with the words of dreams, but he wondered could it ever be again. Time had seen them vanish and no matter how hard he tried, he could not find them, although he was sure of where to look.

He stood quietly with a tiny tear welling in his eye, and he thought about the many paper boats so intricately folded and so carefully set upon the sea of life in search of answers, in hope of words to be returned. As he watched the children laughing, the tear lost its steely grip and fell from his eye, and as it did it spun and twisted and a small blue dragonfly formed, coming to life, hovering and watching them play just as he did. The children paused for a moment and looked in his direction, and he thought once more before some simple words formed in his mind.

 

The simple innocence of a child at play,

Dancing upon this sacred earth.

Holding on to all their dreams,

Carried with them to death from birth.

 

Long lost laughter and words so bright,

From imaginations drifting with the tide.

Floating aimlessly on the sea of life,

Waiting all so patiently to find.

 

If only to grasp to truly glimpse,

For real the words so often sought.

Laid out upon the paper fine,

The many things a mind has thought.

 

To find the child inside once more,

Without a care for all to see.

The time I know will one day come,

When all we know will come to be.

 

As quickly as the words came, so they faded from his mind, and as they did the ghostly shapes that played before him faded into the darkness with only whisperings as they went. Left behind were the dancing lights of three fireflies that spiraled into the dark sky above, taking their place amongst the many stars that flickered there. The dragonfly was all that now remained, his only friend, and he reflected on all that had become. Together they would walk the path that wound its way to the Friendship Tree, standing tall and wide in the sparkling starlight with a soft glow radiating from within its branches. They stopped midway along the path and the small boy turned his gaze skyward, with the breeze gently tapping his coat tails as he stood admiring the plethora of stars that spread from horizon to horizon. From beyond the forest he could now hear the sound of the ocean as it rolled like thunder, before crashing like the sound of summer rain on an old tin roof as it tumbled the many pebbles on the shore. It was a peaceful sound and it added to the atmosphere of the night as he continued to look skywards at the smudges of red, pink and blue, that were intermingled with stars, the vast unknown that lay unexplored, except within his imagination.

As his long white hair began to toss in the breeze, he let his thoughts take him into the sky and for a moment he imagined the big blue ball that would be seen from the deep dark reaches of space, and he wondered if that was what the stars saw also and if that was why they always smiled. A shooting star cast itself across the sky, with a bright burst of electric blue light as it ended its journey. He held onto the thought, a wish to be made at another time, and then he continued on his way. As he walked, he placed his hands into his deep coat pockets, with his tiny fingers fumbling desperately, but he only managed to find a small piece of what he had searched for, leaving it hidden for later on. The Friendship Tree was looking old and the rough bark that wrapped itself around the trunk was showing signs of dying. He ran his fingers across it and it spoke to him of the many stories protected within, the many days of children playing, and now the endless days of silence that it endured.

He climbed into the Tree and he sat quietly, almost mesmerized by the mobiles that spun in the soft lantern glow. The dragonflies sparkled and spun as though suspended on a fine gossamer thread. Their words echoed out for all to hear, with the rainbow colors reflecting off their wings. Nearby, hung the worn and ragged butterflies, spinning momentarily then stopping, almost lifeless. The words they held were truly wonderful, but they had become tired, jaded, and even as he looked on they seemed to age before his tiny tear filled eyes. He reached into his coat pocket once more, and in his tiny hands he held his last piece of magic. He looked carefully at it, then as he cast it upon the butterflies he also made his wish. The butterflies came to life and began to dance on the breeze, but he knew this could not last, he knew it needed more. He sat in the silence, with only the sound of his heart beat and shallow breath to be heard. Then a whisper came. He missed it at first, but then he heard it once more and a voice told him that he could not stop trying and that one last paper boat with words so simple must be set upon the sea to sail. He carefully lifted the dragonfly from where it sat on his shoulder and he placed it near the lantern so it’s shadow fell across the Book Of Dreams.

He climbed down from the Tree, falling and tumbling the last bit as he could not contain his enthusiasm, rolling to his feet before running along he path. His tiny legs carried him faster than he had ever run before, leaping over tall tufts of grass, weaving through the forest with the faeries watching on in wonder, then the arduous final climb to the cliff top overlooking the ocean with its cold deep blue in the darkness of the night. He paused to catch his breath, before sliding down the dune to the beach below. Seagulls called as they flew overhead, searching in the night as if they had lost something. He sat on the pebbles and he folded the stark white paper meticulously, so that it formed a paper boat. He took out a pen and upon it he simply wrote, ‘please come back.’ He walked to the waters edge and he carefully placed it upon the shimmering surface, guiding it on its way in hope that it would be found. As he stepped back he watched and waited, then sat amongst the shells and seaweed watching some more. ‘The stars are sparkling all so brightly tonight,’ he thought to himself as he continued to watch his paper boat sailing away. Many had gone, and few returned, though he always believed that they were seen and that the words they carried made a difference for someone, somewhere.

He stood and taking up a small stick that lay nearby he drew a picture in the sand of a tree with a dragonfly hovering in mid air, and below it he wrote.

 

In friendship I trust,

With words I grow strong,

The thoughts of a child,

Shared with everyone.

 

Decorated with shells, pebbles and colored seaweed, the image was as if it were alive and he dreamed that it could seen by all the tiny eyes sparkling from the sky above. As he left the beach and headed back to the Tree, he turned and caught a last glimpse of the paper boat as it sailed on and he wondered, he hoped and he dreamed of what would one day be, of the butterflies that may live to spin their magic, and of a friend that would climb into the Tree once more to share her words.

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It was the last night of the year, and three friends lay on on their backs not far from a large oak tree at the top of a dark hill, under millions of sparkling stars, overlooking a mysterious, dark valley. The girls listened intently as the boy pointed out all his favourite stars in his favourite constellation, Orion. He was as magical as he had ever been, and now he took it upon himself to give names to the prettiest stars he could see.

“Just to the left of that bright star there,” he pointed, “is the most beautiful star in all the galaxy. It is called ‘Rose’s Heart Light’.” His face beamed brighter than the moon above them. He loved declaring the names of the stars he had chosen so carefully in honour of his friends, and the rose-cheeked girl in the short red dress on his left snuggled a little closer into his side, resting her pretty head against the shoulder of his long blue coat.

“And that tiny, faint flicker you can see right there,” he said, pointing again like a tour guide to the heavens, “is a little known star called ‘The Lamplighter and The Little Fox.’ His little friend in pink overalls on his right beamed a blissful trail of smiling starlight back to the subtle star that she somehow felt was all her own. The white haired boy had been the one to nickname her The Little Fox, and maybe one day – she hoped – she would find someone to share her star with – a handsome lamplighter of her very own.

“Hasn’t it been a magical year?” she sighed, and her friends murmured their agreement. “I almost can’t believe how much we have done and how far we have come.” Her mind wandered (as it was always permitted and prone to do in the presence of her most special friends) back to the very start of their journey together. She replayed again the crisp memory of herself walking day after day alone in the quiet forest, meandering along its wide pine-needle strewn paths, searching for exotic butterflies and other unforeseen treasures.

Then one day, a most unforeseen treasure had appeared on the path right in front of her, as if transported into her life by a magical breeze. She had always thought of this windy path – and indeed, of the entire forest – as being entirely her own. She had never encountered another soul along this road before. But now here was another Child – a boy with bright white hair, a little older than herself – kneeling at the path’s edge, staring intently at something very, very small indeed. “What have you found?” the girl in pink overalls asked, feeling without doubt that curiosity was the only invitation needed to make herself known to him.

“Can’t you see it?” he asked, without even looking in her direction. “I can’t,” she confessed with disappointment, moving closer, but still not seeing whatever it was that transfixed him. “You’re looking with the wrong kind of eyes,” he breathed without shadow of doubt, in little more than a whisper. “Try to see through mine.” When he turned his head towards her, she began to see what he saw and felt herself falling headlong down a deep magical tunnel – past a hundred faeries, a thousand butterflies, a million bright red, yellow, pink and blue flowers, all dancing and swirling like tiny fireworks around and along endless narrow beams of radiant golden sunlight. “Now I see,” she told him, “And I think I understand.” And the intense power of the smile he flashed her in return made her wonder if she was the first person to ever have seen and understood the things he now revealed to her.

Returning to the present, she curled herself up to sit on the grass and looked towards her best friend under the bright night sky of New Year’s Eve – for best friends they had indeed become. Her voice was gentler than the evening breeze as she gifted to him her most grateful smile. “You have shown me where true magic lies and have taught me more than I still can ever know. You have taken me with you where once you walked alone. What adventures we have had along the way!” She saw his eyes brighten, then hint at a tear, at all the treasured memories they had built together throughout the year. “I wouldn’t trade them for all the stars in Orion,” he told her, and she knew his words were true. “Me either,” she smiled, “I don’t think I would trade your friendship for anything in the world.” The pair exchanged a happy hug, and the boy rose to his feet. “I’m going for a quick walk,” he told the girls. He turned his back and made his way slightly down the far side of the hill so his two friends might not see the tiny pool of tears he felt needed to be released.

“He’s wonderful,” the girl in pink overalls told her beautiful friend in the red dress, whose eyes glowed and flickered like the stars themselves. “Thank you for letting him be my friend,” she said, touching the girl’s arm gently. “It hasn’t always been easy,” her friend replied with equal gentleness, “Sometimes I found it hard to understand your magic.” The girl in pink nodded, her eyes scanning the constellations to try to fix her star again. “Sometimes I find it hard to understand it myself. But he brings it out in me. And you do too.” The girl in the red dress smiled a slow, wistful smile. “Little by little, I’ve understood things as they truly are a bit more clearly. You two … belong.” The girl in pink shook her head as the night breeze blew gentle waves through the shivery grass that blanketed the dark hilltop.

“No – we three belong. It has been a long journey, and there have been many fears and tears along the way. But look, my friend, at how much we have grown and how close we have all become. We three are all so very different, yet we have become so uniquely bonded. As this year draws to a close, I will make no resolutions. But as surely as our stars hang in the constellation of Orion, I would like to ask of you a New Year’s Request.” Her beautiful friend sighed and smiled at her sincerity. Where once fear would have washed over her and a certain kind of hesitation would have clouded the twinkle in her eyes, she had grown to know that any request would be one guided by love and wisdom. So she opened the door of her kind heart to the fullest extent of its rose-engraved hinge. “Ask me,” she said, knowing that she would find the courage and strength to grant any request her friend would be bold enough to make.

“As the new year begins,” the girl with the pink cheeks began, “let’s move forward with only love. Perfect love casts out all fear. The things you once feared shall never come to pass, just as those stars will forever be fixed into Orion’s Belt, and those other stars,” she pointed, “will be fixed into his bow. So please do not live one more breath in the shadow of a fear that can never grow to substance. My friendship with him is strong, but my love for you is equally strong. It is the love of a Child for her two very best friends in all the world and nothing more. And nothing less. It is a love for fun and words and adventures and all the priceless treasures and moments that only the deepest and strongest friendships can hope to bring.”

She paused to be certain her friend understood, looking deeply into eyes. “This is my request. Please do not live another moment in the shadows of what will never pass. Instead, live fully, wholly, completely in the light of all the magic that our friendship with each other and with the white-haired boy promises to us all. As we walk back down that path and into the new year’s dawn, please promise me that our arms will link and that this link will never, ever be broken. On our own, each one of us is frail and weak, but with our arms linked, our strength is deeper than any ocean, taller than any tree, higher than any star.”

The ruby eyes of the girl in red sparkled with all the certainty she had longed to fill her until now. All fear had been dispelled forever by her friend’s request, and the bright lights of the night sky cast away all the shadows that had once filled the corners of her heart. Then the night grew so intensely bright that she knew the light could no longer be coming from the stars alone. Both girls turned their heads, their eyes filling with wonder at the enormous full moon that seemed to fill the entire sky behind the hilltop, not the bright white they expected, but glowing a luminous orange, pink, red. And against the dazzling celestial orb, they could see the silhouette of the white haired boy, his arms stretched wide towards the dark sky. A magical breeze blew his long blue coat high to outline the elongated wings of some mythic dragonfly. Glittery butterflies poured like a paper rainbows from his pockets, glistening and floating, then dissolving like balloons released from the tiny hands of children into the moon’s magic light.

The boy was lost in his magic, his eyes following each butterfly high into the night sky with awe as it seemed to take its place as a shining new star in Orion’s Belt. The two girls were transfixed by the sight. When the last butterfly finally emerged and fluttered its way slowly towards the heavens, a stillness fell upon the hilltop, and the boy’s eyes returned to the earth and gazed with delight into the eyes of his friends. “That was beautiful!’ the girl in pink exclaimed. “I wish it didn’t have to end,” sighed the girl in the red dress. “You don’t understand,” the boy beamed with a smile more radiant than the massive moon behind him. “As one year closes, another starts. This is just the beginning!” Both girls’ eyes sparkled widely, as they realised the boy in the vibrant blue coat must surely have yet another one of his extraordinary surprises almost ready for them both.

An expectant pause filled the last few moments of the old year, and a trail of beautiful memories from the year that had passed flashed like fireflies before the bright eyes of the three children. This had truly been a year that had grown and stretched them all, and one that would change their lives forever. As they counted down the final seconds, the friendship that bound them now began to pound powerfully in their chests, filling them with love and courage and strength like never before. Reaching out for each other’s hands, they counted down to the new year’s dawn. Three – three friends bound with the strongest cord. Two – two best friends for each of them forever. One – one extraordinary friendship that would sustain them all for the rest of their lives.

And on the count of ‘One”, they each caught their breaths, and the girls’ eyes followed those of the boy back up to the butterflies that had all dissolved like faint glittering jewels on Orion’s Belt. Now there was an explosion of sound and colour as each jewel suddenly burst from the constellation, showering down in a stream of sparkling ribbons – blue, red, pink – past the huge gold orb of the massive full moon. “I am little, but I am strong,” declared the boy, “And my magic can turn butterflies into fireworks,” as his laughter sent more and more bright stars, transformed again into glittery butterflies, shooting down from Orion’s Belt with long, sparkling streamers behind them. The girl with eyes like rubies handcut to sparkle like diamonds declared boldly to her friends, “I was afraid, but now I am filled to the brim of my cup with love and joy and courage. This year I will become all that I was destined to be.” Their little friend in the pink overalls squealed with delight and put her arms around them both.

“I was such a lonely Child. I don’t know how you two found me, but please don’t ever lose me again”,” she whispered, a happy tear threatening to roll from her enormous blue eyes down onto her pale pink cheek. “You are the two best friends I have ever known in my life. Happy New Year, my dearest treasures. May the coming year be filled to overflowing with laughter and adventure and smiles that pour from three hearts that are fuller than the ocean.” And while the myriad of the brightest butterflies whizzing past the massive moon was an extraordinary sight to behold, the three Children all knew a much better place from which to witness the magical way they burst again and again from Orion’s Belt, transforming from faint silver stars into bright explosions and streaming fountains of dazzling colour. Instinctively, they linked their arms, the girl in pink in the middle with her precious friends on either side. Without another word, each one knew that the time had come to welcome in an even more magical New Year – from the tall, sturdy boughs of their beloved Friendship Tree.

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Consider the year that has just been,
Reflecting on all that you’ve seen.
What have you learned from all you’ve done?
Reflect on all you have become.

The hardest lessons sometimes are
The ones that left you with a scar.
They hurt you deep and caused you pain
You know you’ll never be the same.

Reflect on all that you now know,
What you may keep or must let go.
Remember what you’ve gained and lost,
Relive the joys, lament the cost.

Those things that beat you down are past –
You’ll rise again, so strong at last.
A new year brings new wings to rise
Above the old year’s sad demise.

And as this year draws to its close
Reflect on how it’s helped you grow.
Its lessons near ripped you apart
But in the end strengthened your heart.

Though you feel lost, you’ll find your way
To navigate the brand new day
And all the brand new days to come
For life’s next stage has just begun.

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