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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

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.

 

 

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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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Where is it you go to,

As you drift into a dream?

Imaginations running wild,

At all that can be seen.

 

Carried to a special place,

That only you may know.

The thoughts you have come flooding,

Like the future now to show.

 

Sometimes there is sunshine,

And sometimes there is rain.

Together they bring rainbow wishes,

To make time and again.

 

Watching cotton candy clouds,

As they drift across the skies.

Shapes that form and swirl,

Right before your very eyes.

 

Coloured in the evening sun,

As it sets to go to sleep.

Before it wakes to shine again,

And hold the dreams to keep.

 

As the sky all cobalt blue,

Starts to fade so deep and black.

You wait for time to carry you,

In to the night and back.

 

In the twinkling of the star filled sky,

You see the smiles of children there.

The laughter of a ghostly voice,

Believe it if you dare.

 

The simple thoughts and wishes,

Made upon a falling star.

The magic of believing,

In whom it is you are.

 

Carefully folded paper boats,

Set to sail on oceans wide.

Blown by gentle breezes,

As they’re carried on the tide.

 

Words upon them written,

For dreaming eyes to see.

Full of hope and courage,

That is all they’ll ever be.

 

The secrets of a forest,

Elves and fairies linger there.

Filled with magic all so wonderful,

For all that choose to care.

 

With fields of flowers swaying,

Perfumed all so soft and sweet.

Dancing in the midday sun,

As they tap upon your feet.

 

If you look you’ll find a special tree,

Where children climb and play.

Stories told from times long gone,

Just waiting for another day.

 

The branches all so tall and wide

With leaves all covered green.

Butterflies and dragonflies,

All spinning in the breeze.

 

Do the words you see paint pictures,

That form inside your head.

As you lay you down to sleep,

To dream now once again.

 

Cotton candy clouds,

And rainbow wishes come to be.

Imaginations filled with thoughts,

Of all these things to see.

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The small boy walked alone along the winding forest path, with the flickering light playing on the leaves as he kicked his way merrily on through. His long white hair reflected in the dappled light and the buttons on his magical blue coat glistened all golden and bright like small stars. It was that magical time of the year and he had delivered all but one gift to all those that he knew, and although he could not see them, he knew that there were smiles across their faces as they removed the coloured paper that was so neatly wrapped around each and every present that he had left. A toy here a memory there, a thought or words that rhymed. There was so much he had tried to fit into the moment that he was nearly exhausted.

Tiny faeries flew along side him as he walked, and they filled his coat pockets with magic dust, before flying away once more to tend to the forest. He paused by the River of Redemption, where his reflection danced upon the ripples in the still water alongside the river bank which brought a smile to his face, and he watched as his eyes lit up wide at the imaginations he was having. He was a dreamer and his tales would hold those that cared to listen transfixed on every word and, the pictures he painted were magical, where his adventures carried even the most fearful souls to places where dreams do come true. He knew no fear, or at least none that anyone else may ever know, and in the simplest of words he gave courage and strength where before there was only confusion and despair.

As he sat quietly, he listened to the sounds of the singing birds as they chirped out beautiful tunes, with the whistle of the breeze as it gently rustled through the leaves in the trees, and the gentle of the pebbles in the fast flowing sections of water before him like the heartbeat of the forest. He watched as dragonflies and butterflies came and went from the water’s edge, sipping from the life giving crystal clear coolness that flowed on to the sea, before they moved on once more. ‘Life was surely so wonderful,’ he thought to himself as he watched the delicate fluttering butterfly, with its colourful crepe paper like wings as it was carried aimlessly by the wind, then in distinct contrast to the bold blue dragonfly with its speed and agility in full control of his destiny, keeping a close eye on the other creatures there.

As he sat, he thought about many things, and then he reached into his jacket pocket and from it he removed a tiny folded piece of paper, and he ran his fingers along its neat creases before finally pulling it into shape. He carefully placed it on the water’s surface and watched as it bobbed and weaved in the eddies that formed as the river wound its way into the distance. He did not know where this paper boat would finally end, but he did believe that it would find itself a home and that maybe one day it may even return like so many before.

The light had begun to fade as the evening drew near, and he climbed to his feet brushing the loose leaves from his trousers. He looked around at the small lanterns that hung from the weeping branches of the trees like tiny teardrops, and then he made his way to where the forest opened up onto the wide fields, becoming an ocean of soft pink flowers. As he stood admiring the undulating landscape with all its shape and mystery, he saw a small fox, reddish brown with a flash of white on its tale. It leaped and bounded here and there as if chasing something, although there was nothing to be seen, yet that did not seem to matter. It paused for a moment as it stared back at the small boy, tilting its head side to side inquisitively as though it new the child and trusted who he was, before it continued once more in its joyous dance.

As he watched he remembered a tale from a long while ago, where a girl with pink bows in her hair had found the injured fox along this same path, and how she had shown compassion enough to offer it life. The white haired boy tossed his head slightly, flicking away the few strands of hair that had fallen across his eyes, and as he held his gift tightly in his hands, he wondered if he too could offer the same to his friend. In the distance, the tall wide branches of the Friendship Tree reached into the cobalt blue sky that was beginning to come to life with the many stars that were a wonder to him. They flickered and sparkled like faerie lanterns held high in the distance for all to see. Where most people felt afraid in the dark, he felt a quiet solitude, but at the same time togetherness and comfort with the stars smiling back at him like tiny friends.

He stood staring at the Tree, where a warm inviting yellow glow radiated out through the leaves, and as he listened, he heard the familiar lalalalalalalala of his small friend, whom he had been looking for. He became excited in anticipation of the smile she would give in return for the gift he had for her. He ran to the tree, with his tiny legs barely managing to keep him upright, and when he reached the bottom of it, he ran his fingers along the coarse bark as if to greet it before calling out. “Hey there, are you here?” The singing stopped, and he waited in the silence. “I know you are in there, I heard you squawking from way up the path.” She poked her head through the leaves and with a pouty mouth exclaimed. “No fair, are you mocking me?” He smiled back and cheekily said, “nope, but I knew it would make you show your face.” She smiled then noticing his hands behind his back asked. “What you got there?” He stared all around pretending to not know what she meant, before looking in her direction once more. “There, behind your back?” she smiled, pointing to his arms tucked behind him.

He took the gift from behind his back, with its nice Santa paper neatly wrapped around it, and he held it out for her to see. He told her it was for her for Christmas, and also in celebration of the journey that she had now found herself taking. She clapped her hands in excitement as he carefully climbed the Tree and in the soft candlelight that flickered on the leaves overhead, he gave her his gift. “It isn’t much,” he explained as he watched her sit down then shake it to see if she could guess what it was. The puzzled look on her face told him that she was trying very hard, but unsuccessfully guessing what was contained within, and impatiently he whispered. “Come on, open it, cause it won’t open itself.” Her tiny fingers wrestled with the sticky tape, and then as the first piece of paper came away, so the rest followed in quick succession to reveal a brown cardboard box. She opened the box and within it she found the small statue of a boy holding a balloon.

She smiled and as she did he explained the gift. “Up until now, I have told you to believe, offering many words of strength and courage, and I have seen you grow and become strong. Now the road you walk is the destiny you created and with that I have a new word.” He smiled and as she held the small statue aloft, so that the stars sparkled around it, she read the word that was formed in the intricate wire shape held tightly in the small statue’s hands. The word was ‘Hope’. She had battled all adversity, she had fought the darkness and she had conquered her fear, so that now she had truly given herself hope. He looked at his friend, and he told her. “So many people live in hope and that is all they do, and hope on its own is just that. However when you have strength and courage, and you truly believe in what you are doing, you no longer live in hope, but instead you have given yourself hope that has true meaning and worth.” She nodded her head because she understood his words and she knew beyond all doubt that she was now in full control of her destiny. In the distance a flash of electric blue light filled the sky and the sound of thunder filled the air, startling the small girl to turn. As she turned to look at her friend once more, the small boy had disappeared, the only memory remaining being the small statue she now held. In the deep dark sky a single star sparkled brightly above all others, and a childish laughter filled the air.

Throughout our lives, we come to learn much, regret some things, and if we are truly lucky we get to meet people that understand us, people who are prepared to share the best and worst of whom we are without any further thought. Some say they are many, but I say they are unique, and those people are what I call true friends.

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As I looked into the deep dark night,

What was it I did see?

One hundred billion stars or more,

Staring back at me.

 

Some twinkled like a diamond,

On a velvet all so black.

And others seemed to wink and smile,

As if they were looking back.

 

A whispered voice it spoke my name,

But there was no voice at all.

Just imaginations running wild,

Of a child that is so small.

 

Seeing shapes within the sky,

As stars join end on end,

Deep into the universe,

Then back to me again.

 

The many wonders that unfold,

When you keep an open mind.

When the child in you can wander free,

There’s so much that you will find.

 

Dreams will carry you away,

To a world where dreams exist.

And all your wishes will come true,

Because that is how it is.

 

Where fear is just another word,

And hope another day.

And smiles abound for all to see,

In every word that’s said.

 

So hold on to child inside,

However you may grow,

Reflecting on the wonders there,

In everything you know.

 

Then when life overcomes you,

And you need to get away,

Find a place beneath the stars,

To sit and dream again.

 

Worlds-most-beautiful-scenes-stars

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As another paper boat begins,

To sail the stormy seas,

The winds will blow and stir the waves,

To bring what there may be.

But sometime on the journey,

In the waters cool embrace,

Calm will fall upon it,

In a very special place.

Where birds will fly and call aloud,

Between the water and the stars,

And all the wishes to be made,

Will make us who we are.

Where dreams come true because they can,

In minds that truly see,

The wonders of imaginations,

Of all that there can be.

A part of us resides within,

The words all written there,

Carried on the tide of life,

To live without a care.

And when one day the boat returns,

And lights upon the shore,

The words all written on it,

Will be remembered for ever more.

Paper Boats And Wishes

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Sometimes in life the paths that are laid out before us twist and turn with no discernable end in sight and even worse, where they lead is often not fully understood. Even for a grownup the choices can be daunting to say the least. So how is it that a small child faced with what she feels is such an overwhelming task begin to navigate what is needed to be done, and at the same time remain positive about the outcomes.

It was a warm summer’s afternoon, and as the clouds meandered across the deep blue sky, with the shapes shifting like desert sands to bring them to life in his vivid imagination, the small boy sat and waited just as he had done so for many months now. Strands of his long white hair dangled across his face, with the gentle breeze flicking them to life like a puppy dogs tail wagging across his wide blue eyes. He had seen so much in his short life, and as he sat patiently he wondered about the many dreams he had seen and how much there was that may yet come to pass, and at the same time he wondered whether or not he still had the magic that had been so prevalent in the past. As he looked along the branch on which he sat, he stared at the vacant space that would long ago have been taken by his friend with her hair tied so neatly in pink bows, and a giggling laughter that came with some of the silly stories they shared. Overhead were suspended the sparkling dragonfly mobiles that he had continued to hang in recent times, which danced upon the slightest breeze and created rainbow reflections on the soft green leaves that surrounded them. Nearby were the last of the tiny butterflies that his friend had hung, and although few would read them, he kept them alive by blowing a gentle breeze of kind words upon them so that they too would spring to everlasting life. He had been told that butterflies were ethereal, but then he knew differently, and he believed that they could be whatever a young inspired mind chose them to be.

In the distance the Magic Forest had become quiet, and he had not visited it in a long while as he explored newfound places full of all sorts of wonderful adventures. Although in the evening the light still radiated from within, it had become dimmer and the soft sweet sounds of the faeries as they celebrated the life they lead had become subdued as if muffled by an ever-present force. He looked closely at the rough bark on the tree trunk that he had laid his back against and he thought about how it looked like a finger print that made it stand out amongst all other trees.

“Hello,” called a familiar voice in a slightly desperate tone. He sat bolt upright from where he rested against the trunk of the Tree, at first wondering if he had fallen asleep, but then it came once more, with even greater desperation. “HELLO, are you in there, it’s terrible?” she shouted as she caught her breath. She stood at the base of the Tree puffing and panting and then she looked deep into the leaves, just in time to see him peer through with his wide smile, and she too formed a smile upon her face for a brief moment before being replaced by a desperate look of a confused little girl. He could not hide his excitement that she had come to the Tree once more, and as she stood below, he beckoned her to climb so that they could sit and talk, but she shook her head, before turning to look along the path she had just run down. He sensed the urgency now in how she had reacted and with a concerned voice he asked. “What’s wrong, why the look of dismay?” She was beginning to catch her breath, and at the same time she was trying to blurt out the many words that were needed, but in the end all she could simply say was, “it’s dying.” He looked at her rather questioning and asked, “what’s dying, what are you talking about?” She turned once more and still puffing she pointed the tiny finger on her outstretched arm in the direction of the Forest.

He swung down from the branch on which he sat, and by this time she had already began to lead the way along the lush grass covered path lined with soft pink and red flowers that swayed in the wash of breeze as she ran past. He chased after her and before long he was just behind her and as they neared the forest, he could see why it was she had shown the concern she had, as the wide path tapered into a dark tangled mess of blackberry brambles, which twisted and turned and made any further journey almost impossible. They entered the forest and as they wound their way along the tight path, tiny butterflies and dragonflies could be seen caught, now lifeless upon the sharpened thorns that adorned the long strands that reached out to catch even the most unsuspecting of creatures. She shed a tear, and at the same time he also felt sadness at what he now saw. Even more so he felt a great weight upon his shoulders, because had he have taken the time and shown a greater concern, it may well be that this had never even got this way. ‘Off on adventures of less importance,’ was the thought that went through his mind, ‘if only I had not neglected something that had been such an important part of the life I led.’ Very little light penetrated the matted, thorny vines, and here and there rats and mice ran, terrorising the creatures that usually called this place a home. As they reached the centre of the Forest, the heart of its being, the twisted tangled mess was still evident, but so were signs that a fight had begun. The faeries had been hard at work, and although they had begun, it was very clear that they needed help. The statues that had been placed here long ago were slowly being uncovered, and the sunlight penetrated the depths from above.

They made their way back to the beginning and stepped out from where they had entered, emerging from the dim light of the forest into the evening light that had begun to paint itself across the land, with a soft pink glow penetrating only slightly into the twisted tangled entrance. With a puzzled look upon her face she whispered as if not wanting to let anyone else know, “It’s bad isn’t it, what are we going to do?” The small boy sat quietly on the edge of the path and pondered. He looked up at her worried face, then suggested, “We could poison it and do the same with all the rats and mice.” I know it will work, I have seen if done so many times before. She nodded at first, but as a pink butterfly landed on her arm, and a dragonfly landed on a nearby flower she hesitated and then she thought. “But what about everything else that lives there, the trees, the small creatures, what will happen to them?” A vision formed in his mind of the dead and desolate state that the forest would become as if it were foretelling the future, with the indiscriminate bombardment that method would entail, and at the same time the damage it would do to all the creatures that relied on this place as a home, and for the food that would sustain them. “You are right, and I have seen it so often before, and in its depleted defenceless state, the brambles will return and they will thrive where before they grew but were at least able to be contained.”

They sat quietly once again, staring into the distance across the wide expanse of the distant wheat field. There a single fox leapt as it ran, enjoying the freedom that sometimes being alone gave, and seeing this the boy remembered and smiled, because he had another idea. He looked at the small girl and smiled and she returned his look wondering for just a moment what had come into his mind. “How strange it is that something so obscure could mean so much?” She looked at the fox and was perplexed with what it may have meant, what it was he saw. Then he went on to explain, without trying to confuse her. “Remember a book you once asked me to read? One about a little prince?” She smiled as she remembered, but then she was still a little confused, so he went on to explain. “In the story, the little prince wanted a sheep, and that in turn got me thinking about something I had seen recently. It was about goats and how they can be put to use because they eat brambles like chocolate.” She smiled because she liked sheep and chocolate, the organic kind mind you, but she was a little unsure about goats? “So what we do is, we get a flock of goats and we set them free in the forest. They will eat all the brambles and their digestive system actually kills all the seeds so that the brambles don’t come back. Nothing else is destroyed in the process.” She clapped her hands gleefully and then he went on to explain that once the brambles are gone, the owls and other birds that that live in the forest will take care of the rats and mice, so everything will be restored to its natural beauty and balance. She was so excited by what he had said and she could not wait to put the plan into action.

They found a farmer and brought a flock of twelve goats, each of them healthy and strong, and within days they had begun to clear a path through the Magic Forest once more. Time flew and in six weeks the brambles were gone and the owls and other birds had decimated the rat and mice population. With this the faeries rejoiced and the two friends watched on with glee, as they sang and danced to merry tunes. Now the forest was back to its natural state and the white haired boy set the goats free to roam the fields and live a happy life. One single goat with long white hair remained as if at home in this wonderful place and it would ensure that if for any reason the brambles tried grow again, it would dispatch them without a further thought.

The two friends now sat in the Tree on the branch of old and they thought back to a day not long ago when a fearful child came looking for help. In the fading evening light they smiled at what they had achieved and how the choices that were made were done so for the better of all. They thought how over many years grownups had sought the quickest options to deal with life issues on a daily basis, and how greatly that had impacted on so much that was now wrong in this unfortunately ever changing world. Long ago before all the quick fixes that now exist, things used to just fix themselves and what two children did was prove that for fact. “So I guess my friend that we have learnt something new, but at the same time we believed in what can be, and the outcome was more than wonderful.” Despite all her fears the small girl now understood much more about herself and the trust she had in her own life choices. The white haired boy would continue to grow strong and share his strength and magic. He too would continue to believe, and as a matter of fact he would never stop believing. Just for good measure, a shooting star raced across the night sky, and instead of fading it burst with a flash of colour, sending a resounding laughter from the stars, through the valley, and in the distance, dancing in the glow, the fox could be heard to call, Yeeeee Haaaaw.

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