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Archive for the ‘old age’ 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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Like a paper boat I drift upon the silvery sea of life,

Bobbing gently on the waves I move so aimless.

The breeze that flickers all so softly on my worn and aging skin,

Carrying thoughts of what the future seems to hold.

 

The sunlight bathes me in its ethereal evening glow,

As it paints its colours bright upon the clouds above.

Then dancing spritely on the ripples of the sandy ocean floor below,

Like the fingers of some ancient ghostly dream.

 

Cries that echo softly now within the darkness of the night,

Calling out my name though I may never see.

Figures move like muted shadows in the forest deep,

Guiding me to places I could never find alone.

 

What one can’t see so clearly with their eyes so open wide,

Can sometimes come to life when imaginations deeply run.

Letting go of all the things I’ve ever come to understand,

It stands there now before me waiting to reveal its hidden self.

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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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The old man sat on the top of the hill overlooking the broad green valley below, with the undulating hills that rolled into the distance like the wide blue ocean he so loved. He was mesmerised by the meadow grass as it swayed in the breeze, intertwined with the colours of the flowers that grew here and there, and the clouds above that cast shadows that drifted across the land like a silent army of shifting shapes. A sweet perfume from the flowers filled the air and the soft sunlight warmed his fragile body as the rays shone upon his weathered face. He listened intently and as the nearby babbling brook’s crystal clear waters danced upon the pebbles beneath, and for a moment he thought he heard the familiar laughter that had been missing from this world for so long. Then as quickly as it came, so it went and now in the early evenings fading light, he wondered once again what it all was and what it had been.

As he lowered his head he thought about a small boy, a prince as a matter of fact, but not a normal prince with airs and graces, a humble one that shared what wisdom he had with any that would choose to listen. He was small and his white hair flowed over the collar of his magical blue coat, with a smile so wide that complimented his soft compassionate blue eyes that sparkled like the stars. He was surely different, but he did not see himself as different, he was just a boy that wanted to explore the world and all the wonders of which it did behold. He was in search of the greatest treasure that you could find, not  because he wanted it all, but because he hoped it was something that he could share with everyone.

In the valley below stood a tree so tall and wide, flush with the greenest leaves that danced like tiny butterflies on the breeze that blew.  It was a special tree, because like the boy it was magic and all those that climbed there were bound by trust, truth and integrity. The old man sat quietly in thought then raised his head, startled by a familiar sound, one of childish laughter that echoed from the deepest branches of the tree. As he looked closely he thought he could see a faint flash of blue then gold, with a shimmer of rainbow colors that radiated through the leaves from the last of the mobiles that hung there. ‘Could it be,’ he thought. ‘But then no, surely not, he has not been here for longer than I can remember?’ He looked harder towards the tree and as he did he heard an even more familiar sound. ” Yeeeeee haaaaww” came the cry, and with it he nearly had a heart attack as he watched in stunned amazement as the fox came hurtling down the flying fox, full of vigor, rolling and then bounding towards the tree with all the energy that would be expected from a child running wild in a candy store. Leaping high through the tall grass like a gazelle, she reached the Tree then scampered up it with her laughter reverberating out into the valley, and then she disappeared into the thick canopy before, “whoa!” came the cry as the little prince fell from the tree onto the thick patch of daisies below, just missing the Rose that was watching and laughing at the antics. He sat there and shook himself off before looking up into the tree and then he began to laugh uncontrollably. The fox peered through the branches and poked out a tongue, before jumping from the branch and then running in circles around him and the Rose, stopping now and then to stare and giggle before taking off once more like a child that had overdosed on red cordial.

The old man gave a tiny laugh to himself as he watched and remembered those days gone by. He had never believed it could be again, because for some time now the magic had seemed to be lost, faded into the deepest darkest regions of the mind, where many mysteries waited to be revealed. He continued to watch as the fox and the prince ran around the tree several more times before falling to the ground next to the beautiful red rose once more. They laughed as the three of them spoke about so many things, and it was as if they themselves had not spoken for some time. Their voices carried in the evening air as they talked about the adventures that they had shared in the times gone past, and how they had marveled at the mysteries that had unfolded like the petals of a newly formed flower, which put a smile on the face of the rose.

Time was getting away from them and as it became increasingly darker, the boy fell onto his back and scanned the sky above. He was in his element and his eyes darted from star to star looking for that flash, the twinkle that made it all extra special, and then in a moment he fixed his gaze and the smile on his face grew wide. “There,” he pointed with his tiny outstretched finger, “that one see, it sparkles like a ruby?” The old man sitting quietly on the hill was as intrigued as those sitting near the boy, and from a distance he tried to find it for himself because maybe it was what he was also looking for as well. As he tried to find the special star, silence fell over the valley and when he turned towards the Tree once more they were gone, the three were not there and there was nothing but silence. “I could have sworn, but.” He sat dejected. ‘Was it just a cruel dream?’ he thought to himself.

As he looked at the stars once more, he remembered what he had learnt, and how the light he saw now, sparkling brightly in the night sky had travelled many lifetimes for him to see.  He knew also that it was possible that any one of the stars that he looked upon now did not exist at all anymore, and that what he saw may have been just a glimpse of what once was. He scanned the sky with his weary eyes and there in the deepest darkest reaches he saw it, glowing bright red, just like the ruby that the little prince had explained. He smiled but then he felt alone again, although like the prince he thought the stars could be his friends if he truly wanted. As he sat in his loneliness he began to wonder once more what it was that he sought? ‘Was it there, and even if it was, then what was it and why does it seem to come and go?’ He pondered.

“Hello,” whispered the boy with his gentle voice. The old man turned and there in the glow of the rising moon stood the little prince, and either side of him the fox and the rose. He spun around from where he sat to face them and as he did they all smiled. The fox and the rose gave a childish giggle and he felt like he was going to faint, or maybe he was dying or, well he just didn’t know. He was so overcome by their sudden appearance that he had forgotten to say hello in return, but then they did not mind, because the look of awe on his face was a priceless gift in itself and they knew what he was thinking. As a matter of fact, they knew him very well, because he was actually a product of their vivid imaginations, sort of a father figure you could say.

They looked at him and as they did they saw deep within a touch of sadness, but at the same time a glimmer in his old eyes that spoke of hope. The little prince looked at him with the look of the most revered scholar, and he said. “You have lost something haven’t you?” he nodded and at the same time his face grew ever more puzzled, as though what he was after was even further from where he could find it than he had thought. The three of them chuckled, and looked at one another, then the little prince reached into the pocket of his blue coat with his tiny fingers and then removing his hand he held it outstretched, clasping something inside his tightened grip. “Close your eyes and hold out your hand,” he asked in an excited voice. “Go on, you have nothing to worry about.” The old man held out his hand and he closed his eyes, and with that the boy placed a small object within the large palm that lay open before him. “There, you can open your eyes now,” he said excitedly once more. As he opened his eyes, he saw a sparkling blue jewel resting in his palm, and he looked quizzically at it and then at the three friends staring intently at him as they waited for his reaction. He looked more closely at it once again and it was then that he realized it was a tiny shell, iridescent blue in color and so delicate with its spiraled cone shape unraveling before him. The stars in the velvet sky grew brighter and it was as though they had woken to see what it was that he had been given, they themselves stirred from a silent slumber.

He thanked them for the gift, but there was something in his voice that told them that whilst he appreciated it, he did not understand it. The small boy smiled and, as if the old man should of known, he explained. “It’s a special magic shell. When you want to know something you just think the question and then hold it to your ear. The answer will come from within.” The old man smiled, because he liked magic and he had been seeking the answers to many questions, answers that had eluded him for so long, but now maybe he would find them. He thought long and hard, and then he thought some more. ‘What is it I seek?’ He held the shell carefully in his worn and ragged fingers, and placed it near his ear, so carefully so as not to drop it. The sound of the wind and the ocean played a magical tune and then he heard this short but simple echo. “Happiness.” ‘Um, happiness,’ he thought. This was all too simple, but then it made sense that the one thing that he had wanted with all his words and thoughts was happiness. No matter how you looked at it that was what it was, nothing more and nothing less.

He smiled to himself and nodded his head in agreement with what he had heard, and the three friends nodded as well. The fox got up from where she was sitting and began to run around them all, once again poking out her tongue every now and again as she rejoiced at what he had found, and the Rose swayed in the breeze and giggled, whilst the little prince climbed to his feet and held out his hand in a gesture towards the old man. “But I am tired, and I just need to rest.” He said. The little prince gestured again, not one to give up so easily, and he spoke the familiar words he had so often spoken before. “I am little, but I am strong, and I am magic ,” and with that the old man reached out and he took his hand, and as he did he transformed before their eyes and before long, standing in his place was the white haired boy, no more than twelve years old, with all the stars of the universe reflected in his wide eyes. The white haired boy smiled as he carefully tucked the magic shell into his own coat pocket, and he made himself a promise, ‘that he would not grow old ever again.’ They all held hands and together they ran to the Tree, laughing and skipping, enjoying life and all its wonders, and when they reached it they climbed inside where they stared out into the sky with all the stars twinkling back at them. There they would dream and imagine as they waited for a small girl with her hair tied in pink bows and a wide smile, and a girl with ruby lips and eyes that sparkled like the sun. They knew that when the came, the circle would be complete.

The white haired boy lit the candle that had been extinguished not so long ago, as it now sat cold in the lantern that had protected it from all the ill winds that had blown. He then hung it from the highest branch so that the warming glow would let their friends know that they were there waiting. He then went to where the Book Of Dreams lay with its dusty cover telling a tale of neglect, and as he blew it clean so the words could be read, and the others all sneezed uncontrollably, which made him laugh.
He took a pen and within the pages of the Book he wrote.

The simple things in life are free,
There for those that chose to find.
And now it is I clearly see,
The happiness that fills my mind.

The words and thoughts I share with friends,
The dreams and wishes that will be.
Nothing to be fearful of,
Laid out for the world to see.

Whilst happiness I’ve always had,
It now completes my life for sure.
With each and every day I live,
To carry me forever more.

I see once more with child like eyes,
I dream the dreams that dreamers do.
Happy with the one I am,
Shared now here with all of you.

As he closed the Book, he ran his tiny fingers across its worn cover before glancing at the last remnants of the mobiles that hung above where they sat, spinning ever so gently and as he went to put it back, the fox sat bolt upright with her ears pricked and she turned to look through the tree out along the moonlit path that led from the Magic Forest. They all gazed out now and as they did, they could just make out the shapes in the ethereal glow of the moon, and the soft laughter that drifted on the night breeze was a familiar sound indeed. It was then in the moonlight that the shimmer from a pair of ladybug shoes and the glitter from the pink sparkly covered runners told them that their friends were here at last. Now they would sit quietly in anticipation of their imminent arrival, where they could be together once more, six friends in a Tree.

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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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The old man stepped through the doorway into the world he knew and loved, with the darkness of the night illuminated by the small pin pricks of light that the stars had managed to pierce through the black canvas above. He had felt a disconnection from all he had known for sometime now, and the words that he so often painted his life with had seemed to evaporate like the cool night mist on a summer’s morning. Just as the mist is there to be seen with the twists and turns of spiraling air, then gone in the next, so his words had done much the same.

A soft smudge of red and pink brushed across the deepest parts of the sky, intertwined with the stars that formed the Milky Way. He looked around and in the faint starlight he could see the grasses as they swayed, as if dancing upon the gentle breeze that came and went. For a moment he thought he saw the familiar form of a fox from long ago, as it trotted majestically through the wheat field, with its tail flicking as it went. There was so much he remembered yet it was so distant now and he worried that it may be his memory failing him that had lead him to where he was now.

“Shhh,’ a tiny voice whispered, as he turned startled to see a small boy wearing a long blue coat and staring into the deep darkness above. He watched, and as he did the boy turned his head and smiled the warmest of smiles. The old man went to speak, to enquire some, but as he shaped his lips to form a sound, the boy raised a finger to silence him. “We must be very quiet,” he whispered, “you see, they are sleeping and tonight is ever so special.” The young boy gestured for the old man to come close so he needed not shout, because he thought he may be a bit hard of hearing. After all he was much older, well at least in the child’s eyes.

The old man moved on over and as he sat down he saw up close the face of the child which had formed a familiar guise. It was as if he was looking into a mirror from long ago, but could that be? The boy took the old man’s arm and making a pointed finger himself, he raised his arm and suggested. “There, just up there. See near that brightest star.” The old man looked very hard but nothing could be seen. He looked at the boy, who was still staring intently into the sky, and, “There, did you see it, another one?” The old man turned his head, but he was too late, and as he did, the boy sternly, but respectfully spoke. “You have to watch really closely, or you will miss them.” A look of confusion washed over his face and the young boy tried to explain some more. “They are playing, dancing, smiling for us to see that they are alive.” The old man still did not understand, and the boy saw this, so he just pointed and again suggested. “You just watch. You’ll see what I mean.”

The old man felt cold and he shivered slightly as he continued to look into the sky. “Here, have this,” said the boy as he stood and draped the cloth of an old blue coat he carried in a bag, around the shoulders of the old man. They kept looking and as if by magic, a fine flash of light swept across the sky, and then another. He now saw what had intrigued the boy, they were shooting stars, and as the boy looked at him he smiled. “You saw that didn’t you?” He nodded, and he remembered how as a child, the things that grown ups take for granted can be full of magic and wonder. He remembered how with a child’s eyes you could see beyond all that was, and the imagination could paint the most wonderful pictures for the mind to see.

As he sat there he felt a strange sensation come over him, as if he had drank a hot cup of tea and it was warming its way to his stomach. The boy looked at him and smiled. “Now that’s better, I knew I would find you.” The boy touched the man’s hand, and as the man looked down he saw that no longer were his hands wrinkled from age, but soft like that of the times he remembered from his youth. He raised his fingers to his face and the rough unshaven skin had become soft and subtle once more. He turned his head and looked on sadly as the boy stood and walked into the darkness, and as he did, the young boy turned and then waved, giving a tiny giggle as he disappeared. As he sat there now all alone he could hear the faint sounds of children laughing as they played in the darkness, and as he did the stars continued to dance in the sky. Yes, once more he saw through a child’s eyes all the magic that he had thought he had lost. He lay down on his back and marveled at all the tiny lights, the eyes of the lost children that now smiled down on him, and as he did he drifted off to sleep.

Sometimes, it takes something special to help find that little something that is lost, and if you look closely, look deep inside, you will realize that it is not lost at all, it is just waiting for you to dream.

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