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Posts Tagged ‘dragonflies’

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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The little girl climbed the tree rather tentatively as it had been a long while since her small hands had clasped the rough branches. She was not truly frightened, but some days she wondered whether she had somehow forgotten the strength and agility needed to ascend to the lofty heights of the familiar branch which had borne her weight so many times in the past. After such a long absence, everything seemed so strange and familiar at the same time, and that in itself seemed very strange.

The boy was not here, but everywhere there was evidence that he had never been far away. Glittery blue dragonflies dangled from odd lengths of string, not just from one branch but in fact from them all. She smiled then giggled as she brushed past them; how her imagination set them free from their strings and sent them into frantic, blissful hovers, each wing moving in a different direction to achieve their magically perfect stillness, like falcons riding the rolling wisps of wind, suspended from distant clouds.

Yes, the tree was full of dragonflies, their gossamer wings glistening in the tranquil sunny haze. It took some time to spot any butterflies at all, and when she finally found them, they were somehow dull and faded and tattered from neglect. They looked like lost whispers, like tired, grubby napkins. Like a child’s toy – once cherished, now almost forgotten. Yet somehow the small child’s presence in the tree filtered soft rainbow prisms of light onto their tired paper wings, spinning ever so softly so that one might think they might almost twirl back to life. She took a breath, and exhaled slowly, savouring the air, the light and life itself.

The next time the young boy climbed, the magical breeze blew against his skin like a whispered secret. He brushed past many twigs that scratched his arms and legs as he searched for what he knew he would find. He darted between the dragonflies he had suspended from every hopeful branch. He scanned for shimmers of colour amongst the myriad of worn butterflies, but everything was old and nothing was new. Disappointed as he had been so many times in the past, he lowered his back against the tall trunk, one foot upon the branch, the other barefooted leg dangling like lost hope.

Idly, his fingers played along the rough bark of the branch that held him. The tree that once had been so young and vibrant had now grown to ancient wisdom; every furrow of bark was familiar. The next moment, something felt strange to his touch, small and soft, somewhere between the feel of bark and leaves. Careful not to dislodge the tiny unseen mystery, he bent down carefully to see whatever secret his branch now held. The magical breeze blew again, and with great care the wide-eyed boy made his way back down to the earth’s thick carpet of leaves.

Though excitement flickered through his thoughts like a ripple, he knew he would need to be more patient than he had ever been before. It might be a very long time before the chrysalis would transform, but when it finally did, the stained glass mosaic of butterfly wings would bring a new flush of colour and renewal to the tree’s ancient branches. He had already waited a very long time. And now as he looked back over his shoulder to the silhouette of the tree in the fading sunlight, he knew he could wait just a little longer, and maybe even forever, for a new butterfly to emerge.

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Ladybugs are strong and bold, perfectly round, utterly robust,
Able to lift tremendous weight with tiny, shiny wings.
Completely bright, bringing sheer delight whenever they appear –
A small and most beloved jewel, sparkling in the gardener’s sight.

Dragonflies are ethereal, their deep magic embossed on
Filigree of impossibly long, iridescent wings.
Appearing, disappearing, appearing again,
The ever-present Spirit trembling over still and troubled waters.

Butterflies flit upon the breeze as though no-one else can truly see their
Origami paint in flight, fluttering in the garden’s light.
Strength and frailty intertwined in such a fragile, bright surprise,
But butterflies are nothing without ladybugs and dragonflies.

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“Shhhh,” she whispered, with her head turned towards her friends, holding her tiny finger to her lips. “We must be so quiet, or they will all hide.”

The morning sun was dancing in the sky with the fluffy white clouds that were drifting gently through it. As it did it painted her face with a soft warm light that reflected off her red cheeks. She had visited this place on many occasions before, but today she was going to show it to her two newest friends.

“Quietly now, can you hear that?” They stopped momentarily and the gentle sound of the resident frogs could be heard.

‘Book, book, book, book.’

Her friend with her hair tied in pink bows held her hand to her mouth as she giggled.

“It sounds like they are at the library,” she remarked, eyes squinted ever so slightly. He turned and looked at her, then shook his head and smiled.

“I just don’t know? You, well, you.” Then they were all giggling.

He brushed his long white hair from his eyes, where it had fallen, then turned to his friend with her red shoes, now covered in mud from the puddles she had stepped through, and she gestured for them to keep moving ahead.

They came to the end of the path and they stood before a large expanse of water, so still it reflected the trees that overhung it perfectly. She turned to the two friends and with a smile as big as a slice of watermelon she exclaimed.

“I present to you, Ponderland.”

They knew of this place, but only from the stories they had heard her tell them. She had told them it was magical, and as they stood before it, they now knew why.

“Wow,” she cried as she looked at her pink reflection in the water.

“Down here,” called the girl with her red dress as she lay down looking over the edge of the bank, in a section where it was cut in to form a small pond of its own.

“This is where I find them, see, there they are,” excitedly pointing at the smallest tadpoles they had ever seen.

“I come here every couple of months and invite them to come home with me, then they grow in my special place before I bring them back here, fully grown.”

‘Book, book, book,’ came the call from nearby and there on a log sat a bright green frog specimen.

“There, he was my last one released”

By now the sun was casting shorter shadows upon the ground and the children sat quietly admiring the calmness this place offered. Sitting slightly in the shade, the coolness that the pond created was refreshing to say the least.

“Tell us a story,” the two girls asked almost in unison.

“But, I don’t have one,” he replied, feeling sort of dejected at that notion. After all, he rarely found himself without words. He thought for a moment,

“What shall it be?” he asked.

“I know,” she quickly replied.

“Tell us a story where we are bugs. I like bugs, because they are funny and their legs sort of flap around when they are on their backs.”

They laughed as they watched her on her back with her red shoes and red nail polished fingers waving in the air.

“You are so funny, you just make me laugh until my tummy aches.”

She too was on her back now with the dirt from the ground rubbing all over her pink overalls, and she was flaying her arms and legs around, imitating her friend.

“Okay, okay, I will tell you a story, but only if you stop being silly,” he said smiling. “If anyone saw us they would think I hung out with cwazy people,” making sure to put in the word cwazy because he knew that would make them smile.

They stopped and sat up quickly, and then with their legs crossed they sat staring at him ready to hang onto every word.

“Alright, now you need to tell me what insect you want to be so I can make up my story. The girl in pink was quick with her response. “I want to be a Budderfly. A pink one with red and blue markings. Not a white one, because that’s a cabbage moth.” She pulled a face of disgust at the cabbage moth, but they were still delicate.

“Okay, a Butterfly you’ll be.”

“No,” she braked back with her mouth then pouted. “A Budderfly.”

He knew they were the same, but he agreed. “Yep, a Budderfly you will be, and a pink one with red and blue to that.”

His other friend during this time had been deep in thought. She liked all bugs, but she remembered only the other day when she was helping to wash the grownups car, there was a ladybug that had landed on it, and she saved it, so that was it.

“A ladybug, that’s what I will be. Red with black spots.”

He smiled, because ladybugs were one of his favourites too.

Now it was his turn and he looked around the pond and then he saw it.

“I know what I will be.” Then he went quiet.

“So, what are you?” She asked as she tightened her pink bows.

“I can’t tell you, it will have to wait until the story unfolds.”

She gave her usual pout, then relented because she knew that once he made his mind up there was no changing it.

He was a magical story teller and so he began.

“Once upon a time, on a day much like today, in a land far away, there were three friends that shared something special. They were bugs, but what they had was unique, because each one was different yet they got on extremely well together. It was spring and all the insects were flying around in search of nectar after the cold days of winter had passed. The warmth of the sun played merrily on the fields of flowers and with a gentle flap of her wings she was carried on the breeze that blew, travelling uncontrollably at times. Being a butterfly was not easy.”

“Budderfly,” she interrupted.

“Yeah okay, next time,” he said smiling back, which in turn made her smile.

“The ladybug was a little bit slower, but because of her size, she was more controlled in her flight, and as the sun sparkled off her shell, she was amazing to watch. They had to be careful, because birds and some other insects didn’t eat nectar and they risked becoming a meal themselves. The most fearsome was the large spider.”

“Oooh, spider,” she cried out, hiding her face with her red cheeks in her hands.

“Can I continue?” He barked.

They were quickly quiet again.

“Anyway, as I was saying. The large spider would spin its web from branch to trunk on a tree, next to a swing. It used to catch all sorts of insects and made sure it always had a lot to eat.”

“Today, as the budderfly. Are you happy with that pronunciation?”

She smiled back widely.

“As the budderfly flew around, the breeze was unpredictable and as she rounded the tree, she caught the eye of her friend the ladybug. She called out a hallo and waved but in doing so she lost concentration and flew into the web. Panic set in, but at the same time she remembered seeing other bugs struggle which alerted the spider, which then quickly came running to bring their lives to an untimely end.”

They looked at him with horror on their faces, and the girl in the pink overalls exclaimed, “noooooooooooooo.”

He continued with his story.

“She stayed as calm as she could and without moving she called out for help. Her friend the ladybug heard her calling and she came flying over.”

“Not too fast shouted the budderfly, but it was too late. In her enthusiasm and with the tricky breeze they were both stuck, side by side.”

“What happened then,” cried out the girl in her red shoes, who was now on her back kicking her legs and waving her arms pretending she was stuck.

They were so engrossed in the story that her friend without even thinking told her to stay still, because the spider would come, forgetting that they were only listening to a story.

He continued once again, happy that they were really holding onto his words, but at the same time frustrated that they kept interrupting him.

“The budderfly and the ladybug looked long and hard at one another, with a fear in their eyes. They could see the big spider had realised that it had caught a meal and it menacingly made its way from where it sat on the branch. As it approached the two insects hugged one another for what would be the last time.”

“Whooooo Hoooo came a cry, which made them open their eyes quickly. It was their friend the dragonfly, fast and strong, and he was toying with the spider, trying to distract him.” “Here I am, no here I am, he called out as he darted here and there. The spider was waving its legs around and trying to grab it, but after what seemed like ages, it just gave up. I guess it figured the two morsels in the web already were enough.”

By now the two girls listening to the story were terrified, their insect personalities were about to be extinguished.

“The spider continued down his web and was about to sink its fangs into the ladybug, which was bravely standing between it and her friend the budderfly, when all of a sudden the dragon fly came hurtling in and hit the spider with all its might. This knocked the spider off the web, but at the same time the dragonfly became stuck.”

With a look of dread on his face, in an attempt to make the story more real the boy bowed his head so his hair again fell over his eyes and he spoke softly but with fear.

“The three insect friends were stuck and although the spider was off its web, it was still attached by a thread and had begun to climb back up again. The three friends struggled and all this did was tangle them more. They looked at each other and said their goodbyes, then as the spider climbed onto the web, a hand reached in and swept them out.”

“Gotchya, said a voice”

“It was a young boy with white hair and as he held them in the palm of his hand, he looked at the spider told it that today was not a good day, and besides, it was fat enough, so these critters were not getting eaten.”

“The spider sort of shrugged then went about repairing the web.”

“The boy carried them into the tree where he sat alone on a worn branch and carefully removed the remnants of the web.”

“There you go little friends, today is your lucky day. You need to be more careful because next time you may not be so lucky, I may not be around to save you.”

The girls were so happy about the story ending that they smiled and giggled, then hugged him.

“You saved us,” she exclaimed, brushing the dust off her red dress as she stood.

“I haven’t finished yet you know.”

“Ohhh.” she remarked.

He went on to finish.

“The boy set the insects free, and every day for a long time to come they would watch out for him and when they saw him climb the tree they would sit next to him and listen to him tell stories to his two friends that sat there too.”

The two girls clapped their hands in appreciation of the story. By now it was late, and the three friends stood by the pond looking at their reflections. They wondered how often they would visit this place, and would any of them grow old and tired of it. They all hoped not, but then only time would tell.

Seasons would come and go, but the reality is, the friendship did never change and they did meet here often where they would remember the good times and the stories and the magic that this place had brought them. Three friends in a wonderful place called Ponderland.

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As she continued to sink into the coldness that had all consumed her, with her vision blurred and her heart slowly beating to a stop, she felt a warm familiar gentle touch upon her hand, then upon the other one. She had come to stop mid water and with what strained vision she had, she could just make out the outlines of two small figures. She felt herself being raised gradually through the water and the pressure around her subsided like a weight lifted off her.
Then as the light broke through the waters surface streaming like tiny fingers taking hold, she could make out a flash of white that swayed in the water like delicate seaweed, and as she turned her head the most beautiful red glow was reflected in the beams of light that were now reaching deep below. A smile formed upon her near lifeless face as the realization of what was happening washed over her. 
When she reached the surface the fierce storm and the rough ocean that had engulfed her had gone, the water was so calm and so flat reflecting like a mirror her tired face, which looked now ahead to where before them the beach so familiar lay. She coughed and heaved with a deep groan as if expelling all the bad within and with that, her lungs released the water that had filled them so she could breathe once more.
The white haired boy and the girl with the red cheeks floated along side her, holding tight so she would not slip beneath the waves again, smiling with the reassuring looks that she had longed to see once more.

The sky was clear and sea birds flew, skimming the surface of the water as they went about their business. Nearby, the surface of the water was broken as a dolphin came in close for a look, with its large round eye staring lovingly at the three friends that were now reflected in its vision. It moved alongside them and they held on as it towed them towards the shore. 
As they sat on the warm sand with its fine texture wrapping itself around their tiny feet and toes, she turned to her friends and with a quizzical look she enquired. “But how did you know I was in trouble, how did you find me?” He smiled and without hesitation he explained. “Thoughts and words. That is what we have, that is how we know. We have read your words and we knew that you were in trouble. We have been searching for you for a while but you have been moving all over the place.” She smiled, and then the girl with her cheeks blushed red added. “It is as though you are a part of our thoughts, so when you were drowning, that part of you which connects with us called out ever so loud and well, we were a bit slow, but you were never in any danger, we would never let what we have fade then disappear.

She had known friends before, but these two friends were more special than pink donuts with sprinkles on them and that was saying something. They had always lifted her and the words they wrote and spoke were like the air that she breathed. She had been gone for some time, or so she thought, but they had never left her. 
It had been a while now since they had been to there, but as they looked up the beach, they could see the Friendship Tree in the distance and it beckoned for them to come and play once more. Words had filled it, and would always be its strength. They were the reason it continued to grow, ever tall, ever wide, ever strong. It was a special place, it was magical and today once again it would feel the life within. With a smile, the three friends stood and walked hand in hand through the field with all its flowers and memories, with the ladybugs, butterflies and dragonflies all coming in close to have a look at them as they walked. Theirs was more than a unique friendship, it was what many longed for, but would never come to know or understand, and as they climbed the Tree, all they had been came flooding back and words began to flow once more into the ‘Book of Dreams’.

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The little prince sat alone on top of the hill that overlooked the valley full of colour. The flowers were in bloom and their beauty reminded him of so many of the joyous things in life that he had come to know. He thought about his lovely Rose and how she was so unique in all the world to him, and how he always missed her when he was away. He thought about his friend the little fox, and how she had shown him so many things over time and had taught him that the little boy inside was important and needed to be released for all to see. From where he sat the Friendship Tree was bathed in the sunlight and it shone like a beacon for all that chose to believe to see.

It was a cool day, yet the sun’s warmth meant that he had removed his blue jacket and folded it neatly, placing it next to him. The breeze that gently blew flicked the tail of his yellow scarf, as if bringing it to life like the snake that he had also come to know. As the sunlight reflected in his eyes, a small tear formed as he wondered what would ever be, what life had in store for him. He had always thought deeply and now it was no different with the emotions that played within his mind dancing here and there, never taking hold, yet tearing him ever slightly more each time. As the tear rolled down his cheek he looked into the deep blue sky, dotted with tiny puffy white clouds that drifted as if on a journey, and he wondered where it was they were heading.

The tear fell from his cheek and the sunlight reflected upon it as it fell, before it landed next to him where it sank into the cold brown earth, gone forever. “Hello,” a voice called from behind. It was familiar, yet it was as though he had not heard it for so long. “What ya doing?” He turned his head, and then smiled. It was the little fox, and she bounded through the field with the energy that he had seen in her so long ago. “Um, I’m just thinking,” he replied, still deep in thought. “What ya thinking of?” she asked with an inquisitive smile. He was a bit perplexed, because he did not like to share all his thoughts, he, well he just felt like there were some things he would tell no one. “Well I was, um, just looking at the clouds and trying to imagine they were something else, but, well, I wasn’t having much luck.” He didn’t like to tell her that he missed his Rose and her, because he didn’t want them to worry about him. He knew it was just a part of what life had to offer right now and he was thankful the he still had his words.

As the little fox sat down next to him she smiled widely, and then explained that she had not heard from Rose for a while, and that she missed it when they did not play together. “I sometimes feel like we are drifting on an ocean, each in separate little boats, then in the dark of night the currents take us in different directions and before we know it, we are all lost at sea.” The little prince bowed his head in thought, yet again without showing his true emotions he found something positive. “Yes, sometimes I too feel like we have all been lost and then we each meet again in a different time and it is like we have been on our own adventures with stories to tell about all the wonderful things that we have seen.” She smiled and nodded in understanding, and then he continued. “I have been very lucky. I have known love and friendship from two wonderful people. I know my journey now is only to find myself, because the two most important things that I need, I have. Each of us has a compass and it will guide us as it has you to me today, and as it will my Rose to us.”

His words were deep, yet true and the little fox knew now that she was not lost, but on a journey and that she only needed to look for his words to know that he was there and where she would find him if she needed, but what of the Rose she thought? As though he could see inside her mind, he gestured and they stood, before he unfolded his magic blue coat and put it on. “Just as with you my friend, words are what call us together. Words of joy and friendship, words that speak of a bond that was formed over time based on truth and trust. Close your eyes and hear the words that I shall speak and all will be revealed.”

 

I look to see but cannot find,

The smallest thought within my mind,

A thought that speaks of friendship true,

Where words were spoken between two.

 

Upon a swing in a forest deep,

Where dreams were real not formed in sleep,

And two that spoke the truth that was,

To seal a bond in life because.

 

Without the friendship that was cast,

There’d be no future, nor a past,

And as the light shines through the tree,

You know that friends will always be.

 

Standing strong together in,

This place where friendship did begin,

Where words will always be the call,

Three friends will be forever more.

 

            She had heard of the tale told about two friends, who were much as she and the lovely Rose were, and how magic was woven where they became as one in their thoughts. Then upon the breeze, the heady perfume she knew so well drifted and as she breathed it in, her mind played, then from behind, “Hello my friend.” It was Rose and she had a tear in her eye, as did the little fox. The little fox smiled and they hugged as long lost friends do, albeit they were not lost, nor had it been too long between seeing each other, it was just that that was how much they had missed each other. “I was just telling the little prince that I had missed you and that…..” Rose looked a bit perplexed and as she turned to catch the eye once more of the little prince, the fox realised why. “But he was just here, we were talking and he was telling me, but, oh well you are here now.”

            The little prince had gone, vanished, yet he was there in his own way, in each of their minds. He had longed to be with his two friends, but something had told him that today they needed each other more, and that his time would come. He had gone to the Tree and would sit and wait whilst they sang and played together in the field. He could see them as they ran around like only children do and the smile this brought to his face was like the gift of life itself. Knowing that the happiness he had known was shared by two of his dearest friends was something that could never be bought. For now he was content in his life. He knew that time had much in store for them all. He knew that his dreams, his words would bring them together once more and three friends would sit in a tree looking at the butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies that spun like tiny windmills in the sunlight. He knew too that his other friends would visit as would the old man he had come to know so well. That time was near and only the white haired boy knew when or why, but he waited in anticipation at the thought.

 

            My friend recently asked – “Has the friendship we have changed. Has it lessened with all that is or is not consuming us?” My answer is simple yet complex. “True friendship goes beyond what we see and what many people know. A true friendship has no expectations, no special requirements other than it is what it is because those within it care enough to understand one another. We are what we are, we will be what we will be, but most of all we are friends true and strong, there for each other to face all that life lays before us, lifting each up into the light as it fades from time to time. That is what we three have now and forever.”

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