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Archive for the ‘see-saw’ Category

In the deep stark silence it came and then it went,

A flicker of light like a dream come and gone.

Waiting for a wish to be cast from a mind,

Waste not a word that you may wish undone.

 

Each glistening star that still hangs in the sky,

A distant reminder a lasting regret.

Or just other wishes that wait to become,

Holding on tight not to let go just yet.

 

Faint colours I see like a rainbow afar,

Like an ocean of wonder with sparkling fish.

Closing my eyes I see many things,

I wonder in silence before I cast my wish.

 

Do the thoughts of the child pale and finally fade,

Is it so wrong to wonder just how things may be.

My wish is now cast deep into the night,

Will it come true with time I will see.

 

shooting-star-sky-dark

 

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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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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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‘You’re too heavy!’ the little girl in pink overalls hollered to the Adult sitting vaguely on the downside of the see-saw. The bright sun glared into the Child’s wide blue eyes, blinding her into even greater frustration. “I-can’t-get-down!!!” she wailed. By now she looked as frazzled as she felt, pink cheeks hotly flushed and pink bows coming loose, long sweaty strands of dark hair spilling onto her warm forehead.

The woman was utterly distracted. She couldn’t hear the Child screaming frantically above her or see her legs kicking wildly. Angelica’s mind was saturated with the news of her diagnosis. How could she possibly process all that was happening to her? A thousand medical appointments. A million medical professionals, each one wanting her to read this, sign that, test for this, decide that, start this, finish that. Now this. Then that. Panicked, she had begun to run, desperate to escape all that this illness had begun to take from her and suddenly demanded of her.

All morning, her feet had pounded the ground: left-right-left-right-this-that-this-that. But when she passed through the thick forest and neared the bright playground, her long adult strides slowed into small, simple, child-like steps. For the briefest moment, she was no longer a cancer patient, but a healthy, blissful child once more, dancing in the sun. Relief washed over her, and Angelica eagerly scanned the playground to find the little lost girl – a younger, healthier version of herself.

Past the slippery slide. Past the swings. Past the flying fox. What Angelica needed desperately was something that would help her to find her balance again. Finally she saw where the Child sat expectantly on the old wooden plank. Her eyes sparkled with anticipation, longing to be raised high into the air. But the very moment Angelica had thrown one leg over the see-saw, her tired mind retreated in despair. ‘This MRI, that biopsy, this chemotherapy, that radiation …’

“No!!!!” the Child screamed. “You only just got here!” And while Angelica’s body was on the see-saw, the little girl knew the Grown Up’s mind was already elsewhere, spinning wildly on the round-a-bout of this-that-this-that-this-that. Panicked, the Child closed her eyes and began to chant a desperate prayer of colours. “Blue-red-blue-red-blue-red.” She squinted through long lashes and spied a faint flash of blue, then a bright blur of red, moving through the forest that surrounded the playground.

Angelica was beyond exhaustion. Overwhelmed. She closed her weary eyes, tempted to pray for some kind of miracle, but found herself too depleted to open them again. The Child glanced quickly down at the Adult, then began to chant once more: “Blue-red-blue-red-blue-red.” She kept her eyes scrunched closed but knew in her heart that the colours were moving closer. Her feet no longer flailed wildly but began to swing lazily in the gentle, magical breeze.

“Blue-red-blue-red-blue-red,” she began to giggle, the fear leaking, then pouring, out of her heart. She could see the colours starting to glow brighter than the hot sun through her closed eyelids. And as Angelica issued a silent prayer like a petition to some distant physician, she knew in her heart that all she could do was just sink down into the fullest depths of her despair. Just slide off the see-saw and into the dirt. Just disappear into the mud she would make with the million tired tears that promised to drown her. There was no point fighting it anymore.

“You’re here,” the Child whispered, slowly opening her eyes to see a strong boy wearing a long blue coat and a beautiful girl with eyes like the clearest rubies, balancing their way with arms outstretched up the plank towards her. The three children straddled the high end of the see-saw, their weight still insufficient to raise the almost lifeless adult. The girl in the red dress smiled calmly while the boy reached deep into his pocket. Something seemed to flicker softly in his hand. Then just as her darkest thought prepared to consume her, Angelica felt a soft breeze brush against her face, then another by her ear as though something lighter than a snowflake had landed on her shoulder.

Though her eyes stayed closed, she knew she was being flooded with colour and she sensed the sequence strongly. ‘Blue-red-pink. Blue-red-pink,’ she whispered over and over again. The colours felt like butterflies, hundreds of them, landing on her shoulders, opening and closing countless wings again and again to cool and soothe her troubled soul. “Blue. Red. Pink,’ she intoned even slower still, breathing into her lungs each colour’s unique magic: ‘Strength. Clarity. Hope.’ Angelica’s heart had never felt lighter, and the lightness began to lift her off the ground.

When she opened her eyes, they were dazzled by the intense mosaic that covered her shoulders, arms and legs like sunshine streaming through a cathedral’s stained glass windows. Her disbelieving gaze followed the exquisite creatures in their thousands up the full length of the see-saw, now splashed with bright splotches of colour. The decaying wooden plank had become a living rainbow, a blissful bridge between adult illness and child-like awe and wonder.

When Angelica’s eyes reached the end of the bridge, she found herself gazing into the faces of three small children who sat in perfect balance opposite her on the see-saw. She watched as the boy released endless butterflies from the pocket of his long blue cloak. Strength. Clarity. Hope. The words did not spin round and round inside her head like this-that-this-that-this. Instead, they soared blissfully up then delightfully down, then blissfully up again.

From that point, Angelica’s feet only ever touched the ground for the briefest of moments before being carried skywards by the gentle rainbow of butterflies. Yes, she would come down to earth for this surgery or that chemotherapy session, but the butterflies would always lift her again. She surrendered herself completely to the mosaic of life and light and hope balanced delicately on her shoulder, as it lifted her weightlessly skywards once more.

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The white haired boy followed the long and winding path with its white pebble surface crunching under each footstep taken like the sound of rice bubbles at breakfast. The soft pink daisies that lined the path, with the deep red roses scattered here and there with their heady perfume made the journey pleasant to say the least and the sunshine added a warmth that was life giving. He had only walked this path several times before, but in a desperate attempt to find his little friend he travelled it once more listening intently for the smallest sound of giggling in amongst the bird song that echoed from the trees all around him.

As he ambled further along the path it grew cold like winter with an icy chill in the air that stung his lungs as he breathed, with the warmth within now forming steamy breaths as he exhaled. When he looked down, he noticed the pebbles had turned from white to dark, and the daisies and roses were gradually disappearing or withering where they had once grown strong. He listened again for the familiar giggling, except now it was in the stillness of the air, which was no longer filled with the happy sounds of the singing birds. He rounded the final bend in the path and he stopped mid stride as the remnants of the beautiful secret garden unfolded before his eyes. A tear began to form, and as he walked amongst what was left, lifeless and cold, he could hear the gentle sobbing from the furthest reaches of the garden. He moved quietly past the statues that lay toppled on the ground around him, and then in a moment he saw her. There on the rusted see-saw he found her sitting and staring into the last soft pink cloud which was floating aimlessly in a now dark and imposing sky. Her overalls were worn and her ragged pink bows dangled from her hair, and she was looking tired and worn out with her ashen face drained of all that she once was.

She had not seen him and he watched as she tried in vain to make the see-saw work, pushing off with her tiny feet, rising just a little and then falling back down once again. No matter how hard she tried, the see-saw just would not work. With a soft grunt, she gave one last desperate try before she gave up, and then she bowed her head into her hands and cried. She was strong, but it was obvious this was too much and he felt sad for her, but he knew what he could do. Quietly he walked by her and without her knowing he took hold of the other end of the see-saw in his tiny hands. He whispered “are you ready?” and with that she lifted her head and with a surprised look she gave a broad smile. He pulled down on the timber seat and climbed on board. Ever so gently they pivoted, perfectly balanced. He smiled and then he explained.  “You know I have been searching for you, don’t you?” He asked in a soft tone, with a welcoming smile. She shook her head gently, at the same time bowing down and replied. “But I thought I could do this on my own, and I didn’t want to bother you.”

He smiled at her kind of sheepishly and shook his head. “You know I told you that I would help, but then I guess I knew you would try to do this on your own first.” She looked back and smiled, because she knew he was right, and sometimes she was just too proud look for help, but then he understood, because sometimes he did the same. “Well I am here now, so I guess we better get to it? Are you ready?” She nodded excitedly and as he pushed with his feet, the see-saw gently rocked upwards and as it did the rusted hinge creaked as if mimicking the words, see-saw, see-saw. Then, up she went and with each movement the sun began to break through. The clouds had begun to clear with the sun shining on where they sat, and as they continued the see-saw began to free itself from the rust that had bound it and the tired squeaking noise no longer could be heard. Around them, the flowers began to come to life, with their perfume so delicate and sweet. He spoke to her about all the amazing things they had already seen and the many amazing things that were yet to come. The many times they would play with their friends and the adventures the four of them would have together. His words filled her mind and her tired body gradually came to life with the smile on her face telling of the joy she had once again shared with her friend. He believed he was magic, but more importantly, she knew he was. His softly spoken words were like air and water, and when he spoke she came even more to life.

           “My friend, I had so worried that you had disappeared, but somehow I knew where you would be. You are strong, but with your friends you are stronger. We are all here for you and we will share this journey together as four, never alone as one.” She nodded in understanding, because sometimes she just needed reminding. Sometimes we all just need those that care to remind us of the simplest things that would need never be said between friends, but at the same time don’t hurt to be all the same. The garden was once again restored to its glorious beauty, and full of life. Then in a while they could hear footsteps moving ever so quickly on the path leading to the garden and the sounds of laughter and voices as well. They stopped, sitting now quietly, and they looked intently in the direction of the entrance to the secret garden where the girl in the red dress came running in, and alongside her was the boy with the long dark hair with that special twinkle in his eye for the girl in the pink overalls. They ran and hugged her, because they too had been searching. The white haired boy looked on, with a smile in his mind, because he knew one day that this would make a special story to be told a retold when everything is good and well. Here they were all together once more, all sharing the same journey on the same path, on one amazing adventure together, with many more to come.

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“You’re too heavy! I’m stuck way up here and I can’t move at all!’ the little girl in pink overalls hollered to the Adult sitting vaguely on the other side of the see-saw. The bright sun glared into the Child’s huge blue eyes, blinding her into even greater frustration. “I-can’t-get-down!!!” she wailed. By now she looked as frazzled as she felt, pink cheeks hotly flushed and pink bows coming lose, spilling long sweaty strands of dark hair onto her warm forehead. “You’re-exasperating-me!” she howled, using the latest word she had learned from the unmovable adult, fixed firmly near the ground on the see-saw plank below her.

But – as was most often the case lately – Angelica was utterly distracted. She didn’t even hear the Child screaming at her frantically from the high end of the see-saw, her legs kicking wildly above the ground in her vain attempt to be rescued. Angelica’s mind swarmed with a million matters of Grown Up importance. She’d had every intention of making the time to play today, of finding even just a few brief moments of freedom to help restore her sanity and her joy. But not a moment had passed when she sat down on the old wooden plank before she’d forgotten that this was supposed to be a game of balance.

She was completely weighed down, earth bound, anchored solidly to the ground. How could she possibly get everything done? A hundred tasks to attend to before she could hit the ground running. A thousand deadlines to reach. A million people, each one wanting her attention to fix this, sign off on that, run this, attend that, start this, finish that. Now this. Then that. This. That. Panicked, she had begun to run with long, full, frantic strides – desperate to escape all that being an Adult demanded of her. Her feet pounded the ground: left-right-left-right-this-that-this-that. When she passed through the thick forest and neared the bright playground filled with laughter and swings and other children, her long adult strides transformed and became smaller, freer child-hearted skips. The burden on her shoulders slid off and all the corporate outer layers stripped away one by one onto the ground. Relief washing over her, Angelica eagerly scanned the playground full of tiny faces to find the little lost girl in the pink overalls who she knew would be wishing upon every leaf on The Friendship Tree for her friend to finally come and play.

Past the slippery slide. Past the swings. Past the flying fox – she would have to save that delicious pleasure for another day. What Angelica desperately needed most of all – and knew she needed it with all her heart – was balance. The Child had already been there waiting as she had always waited, sitting expectantly on the old wooden plank of the see-saw, her hands clasping the metal rail tightly, then clapping. “You’re here! You’re finally here!” she had squealed with delight. “I haven’t seen you for days and weeks! You’ve finally come to play!” But the very moment Angelica had thrown one leg over the see-saw, her mind had already become the Grown Up again. “No time for this,” her tired thoughts retreated in despair. “So much to do. This task, that budget, this paperwork, that meeting …”

“No!!!!” the Child had screamed in panic. “You only just got here!” And while Angelica’s body was on the see-saw, longing to find the balance but fearing it was impossible, the little girl knew the Grown Up’s  mind was already elsewhere, spinning wildly on the round-a-bout – this-that-this-that – spinning into a violent, meaningless, colourless blur. Powerless, the Child had watched the adult’s weight sink her to the ground, leaving the little girl suspended half-way to the sky, beads of sweat trickling down her tiny face from growing terror and the angry heat of the sun overhead. No screaming in all the world could bring Angelica back from the endless round-a-bout of her mind: this-that-this-that-this-that. And with the wisdom that only Children possess, the little girl knew that only the most powerful magic could overpower the adult’s mind to bring her life back to its much needed balance.

The Child in the pink overalls closed her eyes and began to chant a prayer of colours. “Blue-red-blue-red-blue-red.” She squinted out through long eye-lashes and imagined she saw a faint flash of blue – and a bright blur of red – moving through the forest in the distance on the outskirts of the playground. She glanced quickly back down at the adult anchored at the other end of the see-saw, then closed her eyes and chanted again: “Blue-red-blue-red-blue-red.” She kept her eyes scrunched closed, but knew without any doubt in her heart that the colours were moving closer. “Rescue me, rescue me, rescue me,” she added to her colour prayer. Her feet no longer dangled wildly – frantically – but began to swing lazily in the magical breeze that always entered her world when those two colours appeared. “Blue-red-blue-red-blue-red,” she began to giggle, the fear leaking, then pouring, out of her heart. She could see the colours starting to glow brighter than the hot sun through her closed eyelids.

“You’re here,” she whispered, slowly opening her eyes now to see her two dearest friends in all the world – the boy with the long blue coat and the beautiful girl in the bright red dress – balancing their way with arms outstretched up  the see-saw towards her like a circus tightrope. “We’re here,” the boy agreed with all the confidence she had lost, his bright blue eyes cooling her with all the water of the ocean. “We are indeed,” the girl in the red dress smiled gently, her colour bringing warmth like a sip of red wine, “And we brought the butterflies to help us.”

The three children straddled the high end of the see-saw, their combined weight still insufficient to balance the heavily burdened adult sitting wearily on the other end, staring vacantly into the dirt. By this time, she had forgotten where she was and why she had come, her mind a million-corporate-miles from the playground she had escaped into. And before the girl in the pink overalls could begin to despair that she and her two best friends might never be able to make the see-saw to balance, the girl in the red dress took hold of her hand and whispered, “Your grown up is almost ready to be a child again. You just wait and see!’ The white-haired boy smiled, nodded and reached far down into the deep pocket of his cobalt cloak. Something seemed to flicker softly in his hand. Instantly, the girl in pink sensed exactly what would happen. She looked down at the tired adult on the other end of the plank, her eyes wide in anticipation.

Angelica was beyond exhaustion. Overwhelmed. Exasperated. All she wanted was to somehow find some balance. But running here to the park today would never be enough – she had carried the burden here with her. It weighed so heavily on her shoulders. Finding balance would take a miracle. She closed her eyes to pray that one might somehow appear, but then found herself too weary to open her heavy eyes again. And even though she issued a silent prayer like a memo to some foreign office that she would somehow manage to find the balance she needed to stay alive, she knew in her heart that all she could do was just sink down into the fullest depths of her despair. Just slide off the see-saw and into the dirt. Just disappear into the mud she would make with the million tired tears that promised to drown her. There was no point fighting it anymore.

And right at her darkest thought, Angelica thought she felt a soft breeze brush against her face. It cooled her from the oppressive heat that had seeped deep through her skin. Then she felt another breeze by her ear as something lighter than a snowflake seemed to land gently on her shoulder. Then the coolest breeze in waves like a vibrant double rainbow saturated her soul and made her feel lighter than a leaf. Her eyes remained closed, but somehow she knew she was being flooded with colour and she sensed the pattern and sequence strongly. “Blue, red, pink. Blue, red, pink,” she whispered over and over and over again. The colours felt like butterflies – thousands of them – landing on her shoulders, opening and closing their fragile wings again and again to cool and soothe her troubled soul. Finally she opened her eyes and they were dazzled by the intense mosaic of butterflies that covered her shoulders, arms, legs like sun streaming brightly through the coloured glass of a cathedral window.

Her disbelieving gaze followed masses of the exquisite creatures up the full length of the see-saw. Now it was completely splashed with bright splotches of colour, transforming the old wooden plank into a living rainbow that made a bridge between adult burden and child-like delight. When her eyes finally reached the end of the bridge, she found herself gazing once again into the long lost, bright blue eyes of the Child in pink and the eyes of her little friends, the boy in blue and the girl in red, all three smiling all their love in her direction. Again and again, the boy released more and more butterflies – blue-red-pink – from the pocket of his long blue cloak. The girl in pink sent her a rainbow of smiles and the girl with eyes that sparkled like rubies blew her one pretty red kiss after another. Angelica’s heart had never felt lighter, and the lightness began to lift her off the ground.

“Now you have all the butterflies you need,” the children whispered in unison as they finally sat in perfect balance opposite her on the see-saw. “Blue-red-pink. Blue-red-pink.’  The words did not spin round and round inside Angelica’s head like this-that-this-that-this. Instead, they soared blissfully up then delightfully down, then blissfully up again. From that point, her feet only ever touched the ground for the briefest of moments before being carried skywards once more by a gentle rainbow of butterflies.  Yes, she would come down to earth to attend this meeting or file that requisition form, but then the butterflies would lift her again to a place where she would laugh and play and sing and soar. Then gently back down, but always up again. “This is the miracle I asked for,” she sighed, “The miracle of being a Child and knowing that butterflies are the only rainbow that can balance the see-saw of my adult life.”

“Never forget,” the children smiled wisely. “I promise I never will,” Angelica smiled in reply, surrendering herself completely to the mosaic of butterflies balancing delicately on her shoulder, lifting her weightlessly skywards once more.

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