Stillness

stillness

A moment of calm. I sit still as I watch the sun-rising scene. I even hold my breath, that I might preserve the moment.

Yet the world does not stop with me.

The waves constantly buffet the shore, the bass tones of pebbles being raked by the surf rattling percussively. Birds wheel overhead, bringing raucous notes to the morning symphony and adding accidental clashes of discord. The constant pulse of the water and breeze soften their calls somehow and weave together the new day’s promises into something of rich and operatic joy.

It brings the answer to a question unasked. No matter if I seem to falter or stop, I need not worry at all. The world will carry me.

 

Daily Life In The Glade

A tale from Briarhaven:

Mora smiled as she looked over the edge of the balcony at the front of her treehouse. There was much to see going on in the glade below. The everday life of the Glade was always wonderful to observe. There were pockets of fae and pixies chatting, their laughter echoing around the treetops. Smells of cooking wafted up on the breeze and made Mora’s mouth water. Folding her arms she smiled at the birds who hungrily had flocked to peck up the crumbs she shared with them each day.

Taking to her wings the fairy soared to the ground, chuckling as she startled a couple of rabbits. “You have no need to worry. See! There’s a stew already on the go for the day.” Her laughter was joined by two more high-pitched giggles.

Spinning on her toe, she caught a flash of yellow behind her, a patch of red darting to the other side. The fairy grinned to herself, but appeared to anger and growl, but all in play as she threw out her arms, swishing them this way, then the other as she tried to catch the fairy children. She didn’t try too hard though, and chased after them, their howls of laughter echoing around the glade.

The other Enchanteds going about their day dodged out of the way as the three figures blustered through the undergrowth, whooping in play. Marigold stopped stirring the large pot of stew, and waved a spoon at the youngsters. “Shall I help you with them, Sister Mora?” She winked at Mora, who merely grinned even wider and winked back.

“Aye! You catch one trouble-maker, and I shall catch the other.”

Marigold gave chase after Bug as he dashed past her, his red wings buzzing as Mora turned the other way, the yellow dress of Dandy only just ahead of her now. The fun soon stopped though as Dandy flew straight into the chest of one of Pyrite’s goblins, winding him with a loud “Oof!”

“Why you little creature!” It spat out, reluctant to suddenly find himself the focus of the many eyes watching them.

Mora stepped up and pushed Dandy behind her, pulling herself up as tall as she can. She could feel the youngster trembling behind her and a moment of stillness gripped the Glade, until Mora fixed the goblin with one of her brightest smiles. She tilted her head “Vishik, isn’t it? You are quite a warrior, and extremely quick of reflex to catch this one for me. Thank you! I shall see she is… dealt with” She placed a hand on the goblin’s arm, and a ripple of green moved across her skin, matching a shiver which Vishik felt rush up his arm.

The goblin was visibly flustered, his guttural words catching in his throat. “Aye… aye… well… see… you… do.” He managed to compose himself and turned back towards the encampment “I have more important things to do than mind the ways of children.” Vishik straightened himself and stomped back to the camp, seeming to ignore the hushed giggles of those behind him.

Mora chuckled, but when Vishik was out of earshot, she turned to look at Dandy behind her, stooping so her eyes were on a level with the youngster’s. “Now then, Missy… it seems you need to learn something from this.” Mora placed one arm around Dandy, and then looked to Bug. “You two need to put some time into practicing your flying skills. You need to be able to fly at speed without colliding with things.” Mora smiled gently “I will help you. It’s one of our strengths. If you have wings, you may as well use them to their best! For now, go and spend time chasing each other and use up some of that energy. Our lessons can start tomorrow.”

Mora stood back up as the youngsters sped off and life returned to normal in the Glade. She folded her arms “You never know when you might need those skills…..” She whispered after Bug and Dandy.

lessons

Where she belongs? – A tale from Briarhaven.

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Mora sat on the edge of the balcony around the treehouse and smiled. She closed her eyes as the pale sunlight of the winter morning reached through the leaves of the tree she now called home. A blue-tit landed beside her, its shrill chirping calling out to her. “Hello there, little one!” It was joined by a chaffinch. Mora shared the last of her breakfast bread with them, scattering crumbs so that a bullfinch could enjoy them too.

It had been a few days now since Mora had finally moved home from the human village. She had heard enough whispers of war, and gossip about Pyrite possibly pressuring Minn on something. She needed to find out, and possibly help. The only way she could see this happening was to move into the Glade and become a useful part of the Enchanted settlement.

They had been surprised to see her arrive, but directed her to a tree-house which had apparently been empty a while. As Mora opened the door, there was much scrambling and startled noises from inside. As the dust settled, she was confronted by birds and squirrels who had been sheltering in there from the winter outside. The fairy smiled. “Well at least it doesn’t look as though I shall lack for company”

Mora didn’t have too many belongings, but by the end of that day she had swept out the house and made it feel cosy. Viola the bluebird seemed happy in the company of the other creatures, and as soon as the fairy sat at the table, exhausted, two squirrels soon appeared there with her, chattering at her. She snickered and pushed a bowl of nuts across the table, grinning as they helped themselves

 

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It was only as she looked back at her bow hanging beside the door that she remembered the task she had set herself. This house gave her the perfect vantage point to keep an eye on the Glade and any who would come there wishing to bring trouble. She could be of great use to Pyrite here. He had great number of imps and goblin to do his bidding, but few who had her particular battle skills or experience. Sometimes it was the unseen and silent warrior who could act as a sharp knife and leave an enemy wondering who or what had sliced them.

She couldn’t deny that she held the distant hope that if she were useful to the community, she might be in a better position to find out what exactly Pyrite was up to and could possibly even help intervene or sway him to another path of action. Yet as she looked at her songbird friends sharing her breakfast, she couldn’t help but smile at how blessed she would be to start her days as simply as this.

A reconnaissance flight.

A tale from Briarhaven.

 

Mora saw the guards on the gate whispering, and her interest awoken she went to see what the news was.

They nodded to her in recognition as she approached.

“Mayhap Mora will know of his plans…” one of them finished saying, and both of the men turned to look at her.

Mora folded her arms and grinned up at the men. “Oh come on now, boys… you have to give me a little more than that? Know about whose plans?”

Peter dropped his voice a little, and looked about them before answering “That mad boy king.” he whispered.

Mora’s jaw set and her fists balled at her side. “Pyrite? What’s he up to now?”

The other joined in now. “He delivered a letter here the other day for the lady Minn.”

“Brought his new creature with him.” Peter added.

“It’s a strange thing for him to deliver a letter.” Mora mused. “It’s usually more his…. style… to simply storm the village and stamp his little foot. This is… odd.” She didn’t share further thoughts with the guards, but couldn’t help wondering why Pyrite had taken to using written words.

As the day wore on, she couldn’t shift the worry which niggled at her over this. Perhaps… it was time to take more interest in what the boy king was up to.

She waited until the night came, then opened the wooden chest in her chamber and took from it small garments made of black leather. They were old and showed damage to their surface in places, but the fairy smiled as she slipped on their familiar covering, favouring them at this time over her fine dress.

She stepped out onto her balcony and flapped her wings, lifting herself easily to the rooftop. She turned her face up to the moon and closed her eyes. Dropping her hands to her side, she relaxed her glamour, letting it slide slowly from her body like a light silk garment.

If any of the villagers had been able to see the fairy up on the roof, they would have seen her seem to disappear to their eyesight.

Mora opened her eyes and smiled, running her tongue down the side of one of her sharp teeth as she held her arm out and twisted it this way then that, the glittery sheen of her blue-green skin reflecting the moonlight.

“Now.. to see what he’s up to” she whispered and opened her wings. Gone were the fragile-looking butterfly wings, replaced by thick feathered and glossy black ones. She couldn’t help but grin as she quickly gained height, her strong wings as silent as they were powerful.

It had been too long since she had dropped her glamour. She was too proud of who she was to hide the fact she had wings and long ears in the human village, but knew many would show fear at her true self.

It was the only way to glide unseen through the trees and see what Pyrite was up to. She landed in the cover of trees, but close enough to his encampment to both hear and see all she needed. There was the milling about of a few imps and his assorted riff raff minions, but nothing seemed different than it had. There were perhaps a greater number, but no real organisation to them.

She flew back to the village and landed silently on her balcony, stepping inside the house and closing her eyes as she veiled herself in the light of Mora as all knew her to be. She smiled wide as she looked up to Viola the bluebird who watched her from the rafters. “Well, whatever he has planned, we will be ready, huh?”

 

glamourless

Share your smile!

Never underestimate the power of a simple smile.

Your smile is one of the most powerful gifts that you can share with the world. Too often days can be filled with the dull gloom of the pressures of life and the unavoidable chores that it brings. Your smile offers the best of you, your light to someone else. You never know when your smile might be one that makes all the difference in someone’s day.

I am blessed. I have those who bring such light to my life with smiles, both the ones they share with me, but also the smiles I return to them. Life is better and warmer for these moments and those who bring them. There are a special few who can brighten an entire day with a simple smile, or a moment of shared laughter.

Whatever happens in your day, try and pause to share yourself with someone else. It might be a text, an email, a smile or a hug. Just a simple “How are you? You have been on my mind” can make all the difference to someone, and whatever they are going through it can lead them back to a moment of warmth and happiness.

Be the bounding smile of happiness which bounces into the gloom of someone’s day! 😉

smiles

Numbing beauty.

numb

She turned her face into the freezing wind. Each flake pierced her skin with its freezing bite, the gale stealing her breath and hammering her hard in equal measure. To hold her eyes open brought tears which augmented her feelings as they froze, but closing them only brought a barrage of driving flakes which collected on her lashes and threatened to seal her eyes closed.

The fairy allowed herself to feel the cold. It was not normally a worry to her, but everything seemed to have changed for her and for once warming herself seemed too much effort. This was what winter felt like to others. This is how small creatures could perish.

Viola, the bluebird hopped from Mora’s shoulder to her ear and back again. She didn’t want to be in this blizzard, but neither did she want to leave the fairy alone. She pecked at the fairy’s skin and chirped loudly, trying to rouse her from her thoughts. Her efforts seemed useless, so she withdrew to the shelter of where Mora’s hair hung over her neck.

Mora’s thoughts drew her deeper inside herself. His ship had finally returned to Briarhaven, but without him. None on board had seen or heard of him and they had been forced to return before the weather got too bad to make the journey.

Mora ‘stood’ in the dark at the core of her heart. The conscious train of her thought sought to defend her actions. She had kept her faith in him… in them both. She had waited so long, so sure he would return. Now it seemed as though it had all been in vain. She had remained in the village, with those who didn’t always trust her, but whom she had sought to protect, and spread joy to.

“You forget who you are!” came the voice. It spoke to her from the deep warmth of the fairy. It came warm from the spark which linked her to the trees and plants. Just as the earth stayed dormant through the winter, her true self had never left her, but had been there always with her.

Mora shivered slightly as she felt her glamour ripple slightly, a sheen of blue-green traveling over her skin. “There must be balance to all things. You know this. Remain in the village. Show them not all are as they expect them to be. Watch and protect those who need it.” The voice spoke from the centre of her heart and warmed her as the confidence of the words spoken spread.

“Come on, Viola!” Mora finally said out loud, and cupped a hand around the bluebird to shield her. “Let’s get you back in the warmth of the house.” Mora spread her wings and allowed the wind to lift her slightly, before allowing her to glide back onto her balcony.

What a year!

What a year!

2016 has brought some lovely moments but also seems to have thrown up its fair share of heartache and obstacles to the world.

I have been thinking of writing this for a few days now, but the enormity of the year had swamped me. Even in its final days, it seemed impossible to turn on the news without hearing of the sadness of someone influential passing.

2016 seems to have been the year which stripped us of so many well-loved celebrities. I have heard so much of people complaining that there are those of us who lament the passing of people that we never really knew anyway. I think those who say such things are wrong. I think that we all had a relationship with those ‘celebrities’ who have passed and who we miss. Their public work had an impact on many of us.

To pick a few small examples, Princess Leia taught me as a young girl, that it was far better to roll up your sleeves and play an active part, rather simply play the damsel in distress. The music of George Michael and David Bowie were there colouring the background of my youth. All I need is to hear one of their songs, close my eyes and be transported back to a time and place which is as preserved in my memory as the tunes and words.

This is just a glimpse into the shock that the year has dealt with each piece of sad news… news that those people can not bring anything new to us.

They will never truly be lost to us though. Their films, books and music will remain… as will their influence on each of us. They helped shape us to who we are now.

My own life this year has brought some great highs, but then has smashed me down low again. At times I have wondered why life can’t be a more level or even ride, but perhaps that would be too boring? Living is an adventure, and so it should be! There are two sides to all things, a balance to be found, so it stands to reason that the most wonderful moments have also to be evened out at some point.

I keep looking forwards though. As much as I drag some of my baggage and the scars of my past with me, the only thing to do is keep walking on.

On reflecting on this year and all its events, it’s occurred to me that one mistake at this time, is to look at the whole year, the enormous mountain of it all. It has left me standing almost mute and confused to look back, and consider all that has happened, and all that I have learned about myself, life, and others.

The coming year will be dealt with one day at a time, and I need to remember there’s no harm in only treating it that way. Each day is a gift. I can choose to start the day smiling, grateful for what I have been given and who I am. There is much about me I need to change. I can only do that in small chunks.

There are times when it is better not to look at the big picture, I think. Perhaps next year will be one where I can find much enjoyment in the pleasures of each day rather than chiding myself for not being further on, being better, or being more of what I am not.

To any of you reading this, I wish you peace. I wish you peace of mind and heart. I hope you can look to the sky and realise that you are loved, worthy and a uniquely important part of the world.

I wish you a happy New Year and the joy and excitement of brand new pages in the book of your life which are simply waiting for you to write and draw all over.

whatayear