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Posts Tagged ‘fairy tale’

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 sign said ‘Garden’, but it seemed like nothing more than a long unkempt driveway that wound its way into an unseen distance. She pulled her long pink jacket tightly around her body against the chill of morning air. Then a tight row of stone steps called her down another leaf strewn path until she arrived at a lake where light played tricks and trees seemed to reach from beneath the water’s glassy surface back towards the branches they reflected.

Tiny bridges reached to a tiny island, but these were not hers to cross, so she circled the lake slowly, engrossed by the reflection of the world beneath the surface that seemed so much more real and vibrant than the one she inhabited. The stippled back of a rainbow trout broke the water’s glassy veil twice, sending it to endless ripples, ripping her briefly from her reverie back to the ground on which she stood.

Then a vibrant flash of candy pink caught her eye from the nearby bridge where a small child suspended over the rails glanced up quickly from the water, catching her attention and squealing with delight. The brief meeting of their eyes was as deep as the lake itself, as true a reflection as the connection between actual trunk and reflected leaves.

Then like the fish, the child was gone, and the adult knew that when she was ready to appear again, she would do all she could to make her feel safe enough to stay a little longer. The woman could neither see nor feel the magical breeze that rippled the water and caught the most golden leaves and gave them the sacred gift of flight. She held out the palm of her hand in hope, while the flutter of delicate yellow leaves danced like tiny golden kites before gilding the water below.

When no gossamer leaf kissed her hand to grant her wish, she folded it back into the warmth of her pocket before ambling up the path, towards a world where rainbow fish and butterfly leaves and children on bridges were little more than gentle whispers of what might one day be again.

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The deep blue sky stretched as far as his eyes could see to where the orange glow of the sun teased itself above the water, as if tipping a toe into the blue green ocean which lay so calm and cool beneath it. The gentle breeze carried the smell of the rotting seaweed that had been washed up on the sand during the last violent storm that had ravaged this fragile coastline. It was spread like a carpet along the beach into the distance with the glittering of shiny shells intermingled amongst it, although to him it looked more like a sequinned scarf than a carpet, or so he thought as his imagination began to take hold. He listened to the lapping of the small waves as they rolled into the shore and over the rocks, making a tapping sound as the pebbles rocked back and forth against one another. The squawking calls of the silver gulls carried in the air, with a sharp shrill fading as they flew into the distant reaches of the beach towards the derelict light house that stood high on the prominent cliff-top which jutted out like a finger pointing towards some distant object far out to sea.

“Hello,” a voice called from behind the salt bush covered sand dunes as if it were hoping someone would answer in return. The strands of grass were clumped like a hundred porcupines spread out across the land, and as her pony tales and pink bows bounced into view, he smiled and then gave an apprehensive wave. It had been a while since she had shown herself, having spent many an hour sitting calmly in the ivory tower where she had finally found some semblance of balance between the different lives that she had chosen to lead. “What ya doing?” She squealed as she caught sight of her friend the white haired boy. His eyes reflected the sun and at the same time they glistened like the stars in the night sky, and she wondered now that she had found him once more what it would be that the days would bring, because she always found wonder in the words that he often shared, and it had been a while since she had taken the time to listen and truly reflect on them. He thought for a brief moment then explained, “I’m just admiring the beauty of this place,” as he turned himself towards the ocean once more. She smiled and then told him, “I came here yesterday and I found a paper boat washed up on the shore.” He smiled and turned to look at her once more and without asking she continued. “I liked the words very much because they were special in their own way.”

There had been many paper boats set to sail, each one with a purpose, each one searching for the answers to the many questions the enquiring mind of a child seeks. He turned, taking a few steps, and with a wave of his tiny hand he called to her, “follow me and we will have an adventure.” He began to run and she darted after him, together their tiny legs carrying them as fast as they could along the top of the undulating sand dunes, weaving through the prickly sea grass tufts that stung their legs as they flicked against them. She giggled as she chased him, and he laughed in return, because it was so much fun and it was like they had not been on an adventure together ever. “Woooo hoooo,” he shouted as he leapt through the air, landing on his bottom and sliding down the steep slope of the dune like it was a water fall that fell onto the soft beach below. “Yeeee haaaaw she cried as she followed, rolling and tumbling with a consummate, but at the same time, awkward ease down the embankment, landing flat on her face. She broke out into a riotous laughter as she rolled onto her back, picking herself up and dusting off the fine sand from her pink overalls. There, before her stood her friend with his hands on his hips like Peter Pan of the faerie tale stories she had read. He shook his head and then smiled before pointing to the crumbling tower, with its grey wind and rain weathered stone walls.

They stared at it for a while as it was bathed in the pink glow of the sunset, which made it look less foreboding than maybe it could do and she marvelled at how it was similar to the ivory tower in which she spent many of her days. He nodded his head in the direction of the old lighthouse and they trudged on, beginning the arduous final climb over the tumbled ragged rocks that surrounded it, making sure that each measured step was carefully taken. They stood at its base and looked skyward marvelling at how it seemed to reach forever into the sky. They walked around the light house running their hands across the surface of the smooth grey stones, circling it until they came upon a slightly ajar old wooden door. The white haired boy brushed away the silken cobwebs that hung around it and he pushed his hands against the door which held fast. The small girl joined him and together they pushed as hard as they could and the rusted door opened, with its hinges letting out a high pitched creaking sound like that from some old horror movie. It was rather dark and dusty inside, with the only light being that which reflected through the broken glass windows at the top of the wrought iron stairs that wound its way around the wall to the very top. “Can we go up?” she whispered as if afraid to wake some long forgotten soul. He nodded and she lead the way with each step taken sending a small puff of dust spiralling into the air, with the tip, tap, plop of footsteps echoing in the air. It was cold and dank, and in the air a damp musty smell signalled that no one had been there for a long while which made sense with all the scattered note paper that littered the floor.

“Wow,” she exclaimed, catching her breath as she reached the top of the stairs with the warmth of the sun’s rays painting her face with light. Here the breeze blew stronger as it whistled through the panes of broken glass, tossing their hair as they stood in awe of the view. Out to sea they could just make out the Island of Lost Children, silhouetted by the sun and shrouded in an erie mist that drifted all around it. As they walked around the walkway at the top of the tower, they could see far past the flower filled valley and onto the Friendship Tree, with the barren desert that stretched on for miles past it fading in the distance. The small girl stood soaking up the life giving sunlight that she needed, so that she would grow strong, whilst the white haired boy thought of the many words that would paint this picture if he was ever to re-tell the tale. They looked at the silvery light dancing on the ripples of the ocean, and as they did a dark shadow, then a second one became visible just below its surface moving effortlessly. With a woosh and a puff of misty air a whale broke the surface followed by a smaller calf. They rolled and played together putting on a show for a long while as the two friends watched on in awe. Their majesty was inspiring and the gracefulness was like nothing they had ever seen, and in a final display, they leapt from the water, landing with a splash before they swam into the distance.

They had marvelled at the life of another creature in a show that if you did not know better, could have been put on just for them, and as the last of the sun slowly fell below the horizon and the light began to fade, the small boy beckoned his friend to leave. “Come, we must go because I still have something special to show you.” As they left the lighthouse they gave it one last look, and for a moment he thought he heard a whisper, “come back soon,” it said, but then that could just be his vivid imagination along with the wind as it whistled through the structure. They climbed the sand dune with its soft sand running like trickling water behind them as they pulled their way up to the top and walked the well worn path leading into the distance.

They ambled along the path in the fading light and talked about many things, and she kept hinting at the surprise he had promised to share with her, but he remained quiet because he knew when the time was right she would receive it. The sounds of the Magic Forest echoed to where they walked as they wound their way from the sand dunes through the field of pink daisies. They paused along the path and looked as a soft glow radiated from the canopy of trees in the twilight and she closed her eyes so that her senses could carry her back to the memories of long ago. The flickering faerie lights, the hypnotic music with its swaying rhythm, and the sounds of laughter that she had not heard for so long. All of these things and more could carry her away into a dream, the place where the reality of life lay intertwined with her imaginations. There, now, she felt the words forming in her mind and she was stirred by the presence of her magical friend, so much so that she began to see the words as they drifted, forming sentences that told of a friendship and a tree and all of the wonders she had come to know. This was more than an adventure it was the journey of a dream, it was all the wonders of the world unfolding like the wings of a butterfly as it came to brilliant life, transformed from a humble caterpillar.

They continued on their journey through the forest with firefly lanterns lighting the way, and the sounds of song and laughter to celebrate her return to this special place, and no one even questioned why it was she had been away, they were just happy that she was back. As they walked along side the cool stream, the life giving water reverberated with a soothing sound as it ran across the pebbles that lined it. She cupped her hands and drew a sip of its crystal clear liquid, giving a look of absolute pleasure as she did so, wiping the tiny droplets from her chin with her sleeve. There was so much she missed about this place, so many things she had learnt along the way, and it had become clear that until now there was much which had slipped from her memory. They walked from the forest and stood beneath the mystical canopy of the black velvet sky, filled with tiny stars, all twinkling like diamonds or distant candlelights. Looking hard they could make out the soft colours that were smudged within the deepest reaches of space, and the shapes that the stars formed when joined together. It was here on the path that he sat down and asked her to do the same, as she did he asked, “did you remember that I am magic?” She hesitated for a moment and replied, “I think so.” He smiled, reaching into his jacket pocket and he produced a tiny brightly coloured caterpillar at which she became very excited, and then he asked her to close her eyes and hold out her hands. He placed it in the upturned palms of her outstretched hands, then wrapped them around his gift, asking her to think happy thoughts and make a wish. As she did, so she felt a little tickle against her skin, and as she opened her hands, holding her palms skyward, there lay a pink butterfly with its paper crepe wings beating ever so softly.

“This is the magic of your transformation my friend, it signifies that life becomes life, and that change is sometimes inevitable, no matter what was in the past.” For a moment a sad look fell upon her face, and he knew what she was thinking, so before she could say a word, he explained. “Butterflies are usually ephemeral, but this one is special. It will grow strong as you grow strong and just like you, it will never grow old.” This put a smile on her face, and then in a moment the butterfly flapped its wings and took flight into the darkness, showing no fear of what lay ahead. She watched as it flitted away, with its wings sparkling like glitter in the starlight, disappearing into the vast sky above. She smiled and she wondered, but then life was full of wonder and somethings would only ever be revealed over time as the journey we take unfolded before us like the pages of an unread book. On the distant horizon, the moon began to rise and the light from it radiated soft and white, bathing the land eerily with shadows and silhouettes. The Friendship Tree stood tall and in the light it came to life as the gentle glow  wrapped around the trunk an bounced off the leaves that flickered in the breeze.

It had been a while since the small girl had tried to climb the Tree and find the essence of the child, allowing her to see beyond the reality of life, into the imaginative and dreamy world that had so often given her a quiet solitude. She had also missed the stories that her magical friend had so often weaved, with either words of wisdom or pure fantasy. After so long away from the Tree, the time had come to make a choice, take a chance and rekindle the many memories that lay hidden in the depths of her mind. As the boy stood, his shadow fell long across the land seemed to sway in the breeze blown tall grass. He climbed the tree and before long she pulled her way onto the branch and sat quietly, staring at the butterflies and dragonflies that he had meticulously cared for in her absence. She pointed to the Book of Dreams and asked, “Tell me a story please,” to which he welcomely obliged, opening the book to where it all began, hoping that she would remember once again. The truth is that even though she may not remember every moment in time, she would not forget that they were true friends. So now the journey would begin once more, with the old mesmerisingly melded with the new and the thoughts of two children once again shared with all those that chose to read them.

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Sometimes there is a simple magic that can be found in what a child sees or thinks, and in the way that they communicate their thoughts. So often what is said can be and is misinterpreted as being far deeper than the depths of thought that the child is even capable of thinking, yet a true child knows no other way.

 

There was laughter echoing through the deepest reaches of the forest as the children hurried their way along the winding path which was scattered with crisp brown leaves that crinkled underfoot with each step taken, sounding like ruffled paper on a Christmas morning . “Hurry up,” he called excitedly as he ran barefoot through the trees, kicking the leaves as he leapt from fallen tree trunk, to ragged rock, to ancient mound and then another fallen tree. All this time she carefully tiptoed her way along the same path as he had chosen, but with much less dexterity than he was showing. “Slow down,” she cried, fearful that he would disappear and that she would be lost in this place, alone forever. She knew this boy from somewhere and as she chased after him, she struggled to remember how or when, but that there was just something that stirred in the deeper reaches of her mind that drove her to follow him. Now and again he would stop and wait, staring back with his hands on his hips and his usual smile, never too far ahead so as not to let her lose sight of where he had gone. The blue sky beamed through the canopy of trees above and the clouds that were draped upon it drifted as though chasing the two adventurers. “It’s not far now,” he called as he watched her pause, with her hands on her knees, almost out of breath. “Come on, it is just around the next bend.” He waited at the last corner in the path, and then as she came close he whispered. “Shhhh, you must be quiet or you will scare it away.” He took a few cautious steps and turned his head in her direction, before waving his hand in a gesture calling her forward, and then he disappeared from view. When she rounded the corner, her mouth fell open wide, and in amazement she uttered a soft, but enthusiastic “Wow.”

 

The sun shone through the trees into the clearing that lay before her, glistening off the dew drops that hung like tiny jewels from the tender tree branches that surrounded it. The nearby babbling brook played a delightful tune as the water danced upon the pebbles that lined it, almost in tune with the racing beat of her heart. Before her she saw a circular form, a hole in the ground with stepped sides, that looked like an auditorium or a mini Colosseum and standing in the middle was the boy she had chased. “What is it?” She asked in wonder. He looked at her and he understood that right now she had been so long gone from this place that it would take a lot of explanation to help her to believe, and let the visions form in her mind once more so that she would remember it all once again. He explained, “this is a special place, a place where all your imaginations, all your dreams will come true as they form before your eyes.” She clasped her tiny hands together in anticipation, and then the childlike smile that had been missing for so long formed upon her face once more. This brought a smile to his face, but she would not see it because by now he had turned his back to her as he gazed all around stirring memories in his own mind, but he knew that the transformation had begun. “Sit down here, on the second step. That’s it,” he gestured with an outstretched hand, as she shuffled carefully forward. “Watch you don’t fall off,” he said with a wry smile.

 

She sat quietly on the step as he had asked and he stood before her bathed in the bright sunlight, with his arms outstretched. The sun’s rays shimmered on his face with a soothing playful light, as he stood soaking up every bit of energy he could get from it. She started to speak, “What does…” But then he stopped her mid-sentence and began to speak himself. “Now, you must close your eyes and with my words I will paint pictures in your mind and your journey will begin.” She grew even more excited because she had begun to remember things as the thoughts stirred in her mind, as if she had experienced déjà vu, and something told her his words would hold wonder like no other words she had known, and if she was to believe in anything, now would be the time it would happen. “Are you ready?” He asked. She nodded her head, daring not to open her eyes, no matter how tempted she found herself for fear of everything vanishing like a mist on a warm summers morning. “Let me begin, but you must listen carefully, you must feel each and every word and sound as it rolls from my tongue.” He was like an artist with the most intricate brush and with his softly spoken voice his words began to flow, and as they did, so it all began –

 

He explained, that a long while ago there was a small girl that ventured into the forest quite unexpectedly on a warm spring day, not much different to today. The trees had begun to come to life after a long winters sleep, and the buds that formed on the tiny branches were like babies wrapped in soft green blankets, popping their heads out for a peek. The sun shone brightly and the soft blue hues of the sky were like the deep sea she so loved, dotted with clouds which as they drifted, reminded her of the foam on the ocean. She was lost, having run away from some of the most dreadful thoughts a child could ever have, and when she arrived in the forest, she was so lost and confused that all that remained was the grown up body and mind. For her there and then, the forest was just a place where trees grew and scary creatures waited behind every darkened bush to eat you alive, and when you are lost and alone you know nothing more.

 

She had stopped to rest on a log, where the only beauty she saw was butterflies and dragonflies dancing in the flickering sunlight on the soft breeze that blew, and there she began to weep. “What are you crying for?” a voice asked. She stopped her gentle sobbing and she looked around but there was nothing to be seen. “Who’s there?” She called. The light was dappled and where ever she looked shadows formed and her scared imagination ran wild. “In a pretty bad way I see, I will have to do something about that?” the voice barked again. She sat quietly with her eyes wide open, trying to see who was there and wondering what was about to happen next. “Close your eyes please,” the soft reassuring voice asked and although she was unsure, something about the voice told her it would be okay, and when she did a small bell rang three times. “You can look now,”  the voice called, soft and low. She opened her eyes slowly and standing before her was a small boy with long white hair and a long blue coat, with silver buttons that glistened in the sunlight like tiny stars.

 

She gave a cry of “awe,” as he smiled widely at her, and she asked. “Who are you?” He turned his head slightly to give a quizzical look then he responded. “I am magic and wonder”. “Really?” she replied. “Yes, and it is my job to find all the lost children in this world.” She wondered for a moment, but then she thought to herself, just maybe she was not so lost after all. “You are certainly in a sorry state, but the fact that you see me at least gives hope, because it means there is some part of you that still believes.” She smiled more in relief than anything else and as he waved his hand in the air he uttered some words. “Faeries far, faeries wide, come out from where it is you hide.” Then one by one the faeries magically appeared, wearing their silken clothes of rainbow colours with fragile glittering, glass like wings that fluttered like a dragonflies, with each one no bigger than her hand. As each faerie vision formed she remembered what it was to be a child, what it was to truly believe again and as she clapped her hands in delight, more and more faeries appeared. Faster and faster she clapped and more and more of them filled the clearing. “Slow down,” laughed the boy, “We don’t have a lot of room here. He smiled and as she giggled they hovered above her singing their faerie songs and sprinkling magical dust upon her head. With each passing moment her smile grew ever wider, ever more childlike and the grown up began to evaporate, until instead of the unbelieving adult there sat a small girl with pink bows in her hair and wonder in her eyes.

 

The small boy had worked his magic and he danced circles around her, with his coat tails flapping behind him as he ran and he laughed as only he could. She began to giggle even more, and as he continued so she became ever louder, which brought the sleepy forest to wondrous life. The boy ran so fast that when he was done, there remained a circular hole in the ground, a monument, a special place, a place that would remain now for ever more. It was a place where the lost would come to find the child inside. He slowed to stop, and as he caught his breath he asked. “Did you know I was magic?” She smiled and nodded her head and he went on to show her all the wonders that he had seen, and teach her how to dream like a child. From that time forward they became friends and together they climbed a special Tree where simple thoughts were shared and where the magic of being a child was all that was protected within. So tall, so wide, the Friendship Tree it was, for now and forever more –

 

She had listened to his story all this time and she had kept her eyes closed, never once opening them, with the visions his words described filling her imagination to overflowing. “Can I open them now please?” she asked him politely. “Yes you may,” he answered in return and as she opened them, there before her stood a small boy with long white hair, and the magical blue coat. He was just like the one in his story, as a matter of fact he was the same and around him were a thousand spritely coloured faeries, all smiling at her. “I do know you, don’t I?” She asked. He smiled and he said. “But did you remember I was magic?” She nodded and smiling back she said. “Yes, I remember it all.” She bowed her head as if in shame that she had forgotten, he laughed and then explained. “We all get a little lost sometimes, but the truth is that what we seek is always in our hearts. This is the place I always come to when I need to remind myself who I am, this is the place where you remember where it is that the magic lies. Deep within the memories of a child that resides within us all.”

 

The light had begun to fade so he turned and pointed towards a tall, wide, leafy tree in the distance with an ethereal glow that came from within, and as the stars began to twinkle like tiny candle lights in the deep dark blue sky above, the sound of children playing echoed throughout the forest. He smiled and he asked her to climb once more and to dream within the Friendship Tree, and to never forget who she had become, and to never forget the small boy that taught her how to believe.

 

We never lose the child inside,

It’s always there for us to be.

Let imaginations all run wild,

You will find it wait and see.

 

Hidden from the hurt and pain,

That growing up can often bring.

Let the child inside run free,

And deep inside your heart will sing.

 

The magic of a friend you know,

Will never let you lose your way.

Carried on a paper boat,

Upon the breeze his words to say.

 

So laugh as though there is no time,

Dream and know dreams will come true.

The magic’s there to take a hold,

All it takes is there inside of you.

 

 

Faeries_Path

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The simple innocence of a child at play,

Dancing upon this sacred earth.

Holding on to all their dreams,

Carried with them to death from birth.

 

Long lost laughter and words so bright,

From imaginations drifting with the tide.

Floating aimlessly on the sea of life,

Waiting all so patiently to find.

 

If only to grasp to truly glimpse,

For real the words so often sought.

Laid out upon the paper fine,

The many things a mind has thought.

 

To find the child inside once more,

Without a care for all to see.

The time I know will one day come,

When all we know will come to be.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

In friendship I trust,

With words I grow strong,

The thoughts of a child,

Shared with everyone.

 

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

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He stood overlooking the rolling valley in the soft evening light, with the Tree bathed in the glow of the sun’s golden rays. His long blue coat with its polished buttons flapped in the breeze, gently tapping on his legs like a small child seeking his attention, with the buttons making a tinkety tink. As he studied all that lay before him, he watched as the wheat field swayed like the surface of the ocean with an ever changing texture. He glanced in the direction of the Tree and as he looked closer he thought he saw with his tiny eyes a glint of light as it reflected from within the Tree, and as he concentrated harder he could hear the smallest sound of laughter echoing from within. ‘No, it can’t be,’ he thought to himself, but there it was again, ‘surely not?’ Excitedly he ran through the wheat field, nearly falling as his tiny legs almost lost all control as he leaped and bounded on his way, and when he finally stood at the bottom of the Tree, he waited and he listened intently. The laughter was still there, but it had become weaker, almost more distant as if fading into obscurity far from the deepest reaches of his imagination as if drifting away from where it had begun.

He climbed the Tree to where he would usually sit and once inside he gazed around, but there was not a single soul to be found, not a sign that anyone had been here in the last while. He bowed his head and he wondered, then as the breeze blew through the dangling green leaves he heard it once more. He turned then looked overhead and there he noticed the familiar sight of a mobile with the remnants of shattered butterflies suspended precariously from the fragile pieces of string. As it wavered in the light he saw one final in tact butterfly, the last one hung from a rainbow coloured string and as it span in the breeze so the softest laughter could be heard. He thought to a time not long ago and he remembered this one, the rescue one, the one that had sacrificed all to search for the small boy that had drowned in all his sorrow and self-pity, the one that told of the lengths to which friends will go for one another. He approached it cautiously, with the light reflecting like a kaleidoscope from its silken wings and as he did so it fell, and with an outstretched hand he grasped and held on tightly so that it would not disintegrate on the barren ground below as so many others had.

Held now tightly within his tiny palms, he could see that whilst it was the same one, there was now more. Its words told of misfortune and despair, joy and suffering and waiting for the joy once more, but how could he be so sure, was that the laughter mingled with a sadness? He thought long and hard, and then he climbed down from the Tree, planting his feet firmly on the desolate earth below with a tiny puff of dust as he landed. He stepped away from the canopy that shielded him, and as he stood there with the hum of the night echoing he looked deep into the night sky. He reached out and grasped a small piece of the delicate velvet that spanned the sky which in turn held the many stars of hope in his vision and then he clenched his fist and took a piece in his hand. He made a soft velvet bag and he placed the delicate butterfly within mingled with just a few stars for protection, and as he did it began to stir before he closed the bag tightly. In the distance the light radiated from the magic forest and the faintest sounds of the faeries and elves carried upon the breeze to where he stood, their songs drawing him towards them. He trod the path of fortune that he had travelled so often before and as he reached the forest he watched in wonder as the small ones danced and sprinkled their magic dust upon the ground around them. He watched in amazement as everywhere it landed tiny flowers grew, in pinks and reds and blue, and dragonflies flitted carefree here and there. ‘Was this life giving, did it really have the magic he had come to find?’ he thought to himself. He thought no more and he quickly gathered some of faerie dust and he placed it inside the black bag alongside the butterfly mobile and stars, and as he did so the butterfly began to stir to life with its delicate wings fanning slowly like the beat of a tiny heart, which brought a smile to his face.

His soft blue eyes sparkled in the moonlight as he stood looking out from where the forest met the wheat field once more, and he watched as a fox danced in the moon’s glow. He sat quietly, unseen, admiring the enthusiasm with which she moved, full of life, full of believing, not a care in the world. Then as he looked on a flash of light raced across the sky, exploding like a firework and sprinkling hundreds of tiny stars across the land and like little diamonds they sparkled here and there and he searched through the field gathering each and every one of them adding them to his magical collection. Everything inside the bag now glowed bright and strong and the energy it contained was stronger than any he had made before. All this time with his concentration so intense on his task, he did not see that the fox had stopped and was looking on with a smile on her face, because she understood who he was and what it was he was seeking. He had nearly filled the bag but he wanted more, so he looked to the sky and his favorite constellation of Orion where stars are born, and he reached deep into it with his mind. With his imagination he gathered up a handful of the brightest ones that would shine like only a candle could shine, and he placed them into the bag as well.

With his prize held firmly, he made his way back to the Tree and he climbed inside with the silence all around him. There was still no sign that any one had been there and he wondered if they ever would again, but then maybe there was still time? He went to the Book of Dreams and he tore out some of the blank pages it contained and placed them inside like tiny blank butterflies waiting to be filled with words, then he took a single piece and put it in his coat pocket. Before he closed the bag to protect all that it contained, he made a tiny dragonfly.

 

Believing in the one you are,

Thoughts that give you strength and hope,

Words that carry you away,

At times when you don’t think you’ll cope.

 

Laughing in the morning sun,

Crying in the midday rain,

Then smiling at the stars that shine,

Because like you they’ll shine again.

 

For each and every star that falls,

A wish awaits for you to make,

A dream come true in times to come,

With every little step you take.

 

The stars you hold within your hands,

Are gathered there for you to see,

So even in your darkest hours,

You will pull through it’s your destiny.

 

He finished and put this into the bag, and then he placed his hand into a hole in the solid trunk of the Tree, searching with his tiny fingers, and when he removed it he was holding a small candle, like the light of life to be shared, to glow when the darkness was at its worst, a reminder of all that life is and ever will be. His treasure was now complete, the magic was captured, and now he placed the bag where his friend would usually sit with her pen and paper in hand and then he turned, but before climbing down he made a wish. It was a wish he would not share, but a wish just the same, a wish upon the star that he had seen earlier and had waited to use. He climbed down from the Tree with its rough-hewn bark and as he stood there, all was silent. The forest was asleep and the fox was gone, but as he always knew, the stars still shined, they would always shine, they would always smile and their laughter would be heard by all those that believed. He knew his friend believed just as he did, and he only hoped that his gift could give her the strength that his words had so often given before. Only time would tell, but like before he truly believed and he would never let any other thought cross into the enquiring mind of the child she was, and that one day she would realise her wildest dreams.

He sat now by the ocean blue, with his bare feet resting in the cool waters as if drawing from the magic that it offered. He took the piece of paper from his jacket pocket and he folded it carefully into the most wonderful of paper boats, and then he added some words of hope, of believing. In the moonlight, he watched as it set sail as so many had before in search of a dream. He had sprinkled this with some of his magic, yes his. He thought he was magic, no, he knew he was magic and his words would always be like air and water, they would always speak of all the positive things that life has to offer and they were there for all those less fortunate than he, all those that needed a helping hand. That was who he was and always would be and his happiness was found in the happiness that he gave to others, the most wonderful of gifts that costs nothing but a simple smile. He would wait here until this paper boat returned and he would hope that his friend would find the gift he left for her. Now as he sat quietly, the stars smiled down upon him and he smiled back, and the colours of the Milky Way glowed in reds and pinks, with just a touch of cobalt blue smudged across, intermingled amongst the stars. He laughed, and they laughed to. Yes life was a wonderful thing.

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