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Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Where the shadows stretch so long and deep and linger well into the night, that is where I sit in silence waiting for the night owl flight. Upon the misty winter breeze an echo carries wide and far, until it echoes never more muted neath a sky of stars. Life and death like night and day so far apart yet one the same, captured now together held forever more in tight embrace. To close your eyes and drift away and find a peace so few will know, one day to see beyond the veil into that other world will go.

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As the ether of the night slowly envelopes the daylight hours, and the distant stars sparkle like something lost, so time slows and turns.

In the deepest darkness the colours like a rainbow twist and turn, as they have always done, far more distant than a tiny mind can comprehend.

I think, I wonder, yet there is no answer to be found, no age to be told. One more light in the midnight sky amongst a million others.

If I knew what may truly be would I consider at all or would I continue in wonder that something else may be?

The midnight chime in the winter chill echoes its resonating sound, to where it fades, never to be seen or heard again.

Gentle breaths in slumber state, slow ever more to finally end.

Silence.

What now lives on?

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Today I saw a paper boat afloat upon a stream.

The sight of it transported me inside the sweetest dream.

It carried me from where I stood, on muddy banks nearby,

Towards the bright horizon that divided land from sky.

 

The soul inside me lifted from the dark place I had been,

Cool water washed over my mind, and all that I had seen

Was now infused with life and light where turmoil once had reigned,

And at that point I knew my life should never be the same.

 

Where once each thought was plagued with doubt, now certainty had come.

I watched now as the paper boat turned slowly for the sun.

It sailed its course relentlessly, whatever waves may crash,

And I too set a forward course with no more looking back.

 

How can a boat of paper navigate the ocean wide?

How can a fragile child like me find courage not to hide?

A dim and distant silhouette gives me the hope I need

That paper boats can surely float across the wildest seas. 

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I am very strong – you may draw strength from me.
You are very strong – I will draw strength from you.
This Tree is very strong – its branches we shall climb
When we need to find strength – which is most of the time.

When I feel very weak, I know where I should go.
When you feel very weak, my strength I will show.
When we need to find strength, what we have, we will share.
For we planted a Friendship Tree and I shall meet you there.

We are born into this world and we are blessed with just one life
So we live inside our dreams until the moment comes to die.
With its roots planted far into the core of the Earth
This Tree will bless us with a new kind of birth.

So when you feel weak, my friend, just begin to climb.
When you reach the highest branches, my strength you shall find.
There is courage and strength and such light in this world
When True Friendship exists between a boy and a girl.

And as we sit upon this branch, we’ll look up towards the sun.
For its bright beams will strengthen the bond that’s begun.
A beautiful red climbing rose adorns each branch of tree
And her love gives the two of us the strength that we need.

To my dearest friends, Langley and Rose – when I think of all the strength the two of you to impart into my life on a daily basis, words utterly fail me. Thank you for being there when times are good. Thank you for being there when they are not so good. I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude – Angelica xx

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“My – how everything can change in the blink of an eye!” Angelica murmered under her exhausted breath. In an instant, her carefree life had utterly transformed, and now she found herself bouncing from one mind-numbing Grown Up appointment to the next. There was barely a moment to pause and think of the lonely little girl in pink overalls, well hidden from sight in her new office, making butterflies and hanging them with pins from the underside of Angelica’s solid new mahogany desk.

“I’ll be there soon,” she thought in promise to the Child, but every opportunity was instantly absorbed by yet another Grown Up needing an even fatter slice of Angelica’s undivided attention. She flitted like a tired butterfly in the heat of the day from one flat-faced corporate flower to the next, never quite finding the much-needed time to land.

“I’m having a tea party with my friends,” the Child crouched under the desk said with conviction. She addressed her dreamy words to the butterfly she was drawing onto the page of a blue-lined notepad, now cutting it out and colouring it in with a pale pink pencil. Then she dangled it from a short piece of blue office twine, blowing a small breeze with pouty pink lips to send the butterfly swinging into gentle flight. “We  three are sitting on a cliff,” she imagined out loud, “Looking out over the ocean, drinking teardrop tea from tiny shiny cups made out of the pearliest pink shells.”

She was no longer trapped under Angelica’s dark new desk in the office that felt to her like an imposing Ivory Tower. Her delightful daydream had transported her into the company of her two Very Best Friends, to a sunny place where the fresh sea breeze filled their tiny lungs with all the freedom of the ocean and the sky combined. The girl in the red dress was pouring tea into the boy’s cup – rosehip tea infused with all the tears she had ever cried in the moments that had made her happiest of all. He thanked her with a thoughtful smile and pretended to sip. For of course the fragrant tea was as unreal as the clifftop itself, but that had never before stopped the trio from pretending that everything they dreamed or daydreamed was completely solid and true.

He sighed and counted all the things he loved about this girl with each make-believe sip of the pale red tea. One – strawberries. Two – roses. Three – rubies. Four – the blood that flushed her pretty cheeks every time she gazed in his direction. Five – the summer sun flashing brightly against the symbol of the Friendship Tree she wore with undying love around her slender neck. It was the exact same pendant his other little friend in the pink overalls had lost only days before in the magical Foxglove Spires Garden.

The boy in blue remembered with heart-swelling pride the moment when the beautiful red girl had made the precious sacrifice and given her tearful friend the necklace from around her own beautiful neck.  Soon after, he had miraculously found the first missing pendant dangling from a twig in Friendship Tree and had tenderly adorned her with it to replace the one she had given away. Sitting high on the clifftop as they now shared a pot of blissful teardrop tea from pearly pink shell cups, the once-lost treasure dangled from her neck like an enchanted bauble. He was mesmerised by the pendant, following the necklace up to lips that blushed like strawberries and eyes that sparkled like rubies, reflecting back to him the crimson rosebuds that bloomed for her alone in the deeply romantic secret garden of his heart.

Their little friend in pink overalls quietly watched her two companions from a slight distance, playing absently as always with the string of pale pink beads she wore as a bracelet on her wrist. She observed yet again how – more often than not – these two seemed completely absorbed by the depth of their own deep affections. Theirs was a world so sacred and private, she felt privileged to just sit close by and to know with certainty that love so intense, pure and absolutely devoted could truly exist. She adored them both, her affection for each of them intensified by the magic of their undivided love for each other. There were no two people in all the world she would rather sit with here on this clifftop, overlooking the sky-blue mantle of the ocean which hid a thousand irresistable mysteries beneath its glassy surface.

“It’s time,” breathed the beautiful girl with rubies for eyes, her words steaming through the toasty haze that drifted upwards from her cup of teardrop tea. And before the white haired boy and the pink cheeked girl could guess what game they were all about to play, she stood and took three steps towards the very edge of the clifftop, then raised her arms high together over her head. Flashing a quick, bright smile from her strawberry lips, she dived straight as an arrow into some unseen bullseye, penetrating the ocean’s surface with the tiniest splash before disappearing from far from sight.

Her two companions looked at each other and exchanged broadly beaming smiles. She had finally found her courage, and without hesitation, the pink girl lept from the clifftop, sommersaulting through the air, entering the water at the precise same point where her friend had just disappeared. Magically, the white haired boy was already under water to greet her when she burst through the cold water’s surface, and they swam quickly to keep pace with the girl in the bright red bathers who darted ahead of them, eager to show them the million wonders she spied with her own brave, brightly sparkling ruby eyes.

When the adventure was done, the three children climbed – soaking – out of the water and back up to the clifftop where the the blood that pumped through the beautiful girl’s heart had transformed like magic from total love to complete courage. Three sets of eyes sparkled brightly – they had finally taken their first underwater adventure together! The boy’s deepest desire of sharing the secrets of the ocean with the girl of his dreams had finally become a reality

Their friend in pink ran her fingers through her wet hair, beaming with pride at how strong her pretty friend had grown. The fear that had filled those lovely ruby eyes in the past now dissolved completely, replaced by all the wonders they had finally seen for themselves under the ocean’s sparkling surface. She watched as her friends embraced tenderly, never wanting to disturb the precious moments they alone could share. But without warning, an impulsive question popped like a pearly soap bubble from her pale pink lips.

“But how did you finally get so brave?”

“It was my necklace – the one that once belonged to you,” her friend replied. Her cheeks flushed with pride and joy and the strength that came from all that the Friendship Tree pendants the three friends wore around their necks  had come to mean. But by the time she had instinctively reached her hand to touch the pendant and thank it for giving her the magic of courage, her two friends had already noticed – with horror and disbelief – that the necklace was no longer hanging around her neck.

Their minds raced – perhaps they could climb back down the cliff – maybe it had come off as they had climbed back out of the water? But the dawning realisation in their friend’s ruby eyes revealed the truth most likely. The necklace was surely now somewhere deep below the ocean’s glassy surface. The trio peered over the cliff face, and every ray of sun that bounced off the water’s crests seemed to mock them, taunting ‘It’s over here; no – over here’ – a thousand sparkles dancing across the water’s surface like a thousand lost pendants sparkling far beyond their reach.

“It’s gone for sure,” the girl in the pink overalls sighed, remembering how she had felt in the secret garden when the exact same pendant had vanished from her own neck, only to be found dangling from a twig from the tree she had been climbing. The ocean would not yield the treasures it had stolen quite so easily. She knew without a moment’s thought what she needed to do. She undid  the clasp around her own neck, releasing the pendant that her beautiful friend had placed around her neck from her own when she had believed her pendant had been lost forever.

“Time has a way of restoring to us the things that matter most,” she intoned, recollecting the words the white haired boy had spoken when he had placed the now lost pendant around the neck of his love in the Secret Garden. Now it was her turn to place a pendant around the beautiful girl’s neck. “Thank you for loaning your Tree necklace to me all this time,” she whispered in a voice as soft as sugar-frosted, finger-painted hearts, “My pendant has now been lost twice, but your pendant now truly belongs to you once more.”

The boy could no longer watch the scene of the hugging girls without tears filling his own sea-blue eyes. He was in awe of the bond the two girls had developed – first for one to sacrifice her greatest treasure, and now for this new act of love and sacrifice in return. All thoughts and words choked in his throat, his heart touched by such acts of kindness, all thoughts of selfishness dissolving completely. He wanted to search every drop of the ocean to find the pendant that had now been twice lost, the one that matched the tree pendant hanging from the black cord around his own neck.

He would clean away the pearly shell cups, then he would prepare himself to make a sacrifice of his own. He loved the beautiful girl with the ruby eyes that now flooded with gratitude more than anyone else in the world. But he was also proud of his little friend in the pink overalls, and after he had poured the final drops of teardrop tea from the pearly shell cups, he would remove his own pendant and place it around her pale pink neck, leaving his own black cord bare.

Yes – it would be a tremendous sacrifice. The outline of the tree punched into his silver pendant had given him all the strength he had ever known and symbolised all the friendship he would ever need. But he knew that holding tight would strengthen only himself, and letting go would strengthen them all. He gathered the last of the three shell cups, and felt such intense emotion ahead of his sacrifice, that a single, sapphire tear rolled down his cheek and into the shell. Then the sun that gleamed from the tear that landed in the cup suddenly came to dazzling life, radiating a sharp silver brilliance. Its light was so bright and the boy’s laughter so unexpected, they broke the girls from their gentle embrace, drawing their eyes like expectant magnets to the chain dangling across the palm of the boy’s hand. The girls were truly dumbstruck – the pendant that had been twice lost had now been twice found.

“It wasn’t in the ocean – it was in the teardrop tea!” their friend exclaimed, and the wide-eyed girl with flushed pink cheeks moved quickly towards him so that her bare neck might be bare no longer. As the clasp was done firmly around her neck, the three children chanted in unison: “Time has a way of restoring to us the things that matter most.” The trio embraced, then linked arms and made their way back down the cliff face, their feet leading them in the familiar direction of the Friendship Tree as pink swirls of dusky sun filled the sky with promises of new adventures tomorrow. 

As the sun set on the Ivory Tower, Angelica reached up to the pendant around her neck, thanking it for the strength it had given her to get through yet another frantic day. Once again, she was tired and hungry, as the busyness of her new job had yet again denied any opportunity for a bite of food or even a few minutes to sit and rest with a cup of tea at her desk.

But finally the day had drawn to a slow close, and gratefully she reached beneath her desk to retrieve her briefcase and car keys. Something brushed softly against her hand, and crouching down to investigate, she discovered three paper butterflies – drawn as a child might draw – cut from blue lined notebook paper and coloured with pencils: one pink, one red and one blue – all dangling from pins attached to short pieces of blue office twine.

She smiled and sighed, How long since she had made one of these? Months? Years? It felt like decades. She detached the pink butterfly and tucked it gently into her briefcase. “I’ll take this one home with me,” she thought. “The other two can stay there and keep me company tomorrow.” In reality, she knew tomorrow would be just as busy as today – if not busier. But just knowing the red and blue paper butterflies would be dangling quietly under the dark mahogany desk in the Ivory Tower somehow gave her strength. As she turned off the light and closed the office door behind her, she knew with certain relief that somehow she would be able to face all the challenges of tomorrow when they rolled like ocean waves onto tomorrow’s new shore.

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