The Weary Dove

Once upon a time in a peaceful village, a boy found a dove sitting next to his garden tools. It did not move at all so he assumed it must be ill. It was marked though, had a ring around its left leg and looked different from the other village doves. Finer, with stripes running along its sides. If he came too close it brushed up and looked like a furry ball. But it didn’t look scared, not at all.

He threw a few crumbles of his bread at it, but no. Nothing. Not a sound. No movement.

If he would have been as wise as his grandmother who watched the whole scene from her window, he would know that the dove had a message for him.

It showed him how to just sit with whatever presented itself. To be still. To let the world be what it was at the moment and to take a rest from hunger and movement.

Just sit with it.

Let go of impressions, wishes, stories, reactions, travel, wind swirls and threats, real or imagined.

Just it with it. Whispered grandma from the kitchen.

 

 


Lisa and the Star People

Lisa was sitting on a rock  in the middle of the forest behind her yellow terraced house.

There was a hole in the big rock that looked like a tiny gorge. Lisa imagined herself being really big and seeing this ‘mountain’ and gorge from above.

She squinted to imagine the trees growing on the sides of the mountain, the birds flying over it, the clouds brushing it. She imagined a line of people, tiny from her perspective, moving towards the top of the mountain together with their donkeys. The people were dressed in colourful ponchos and wore beautifully knitted hats with strings on the side.

She could see them patiently thread the tiny snake-like roads up the mountain. They did not speak but seemed happy to be ascending this imaginary mountain together.

Suddenly she felt something changing behind her and she turned from her helicopter view observation, only to stand in front of two very tall beings cloaked in white. They were a bit blurred, like a film projected on a wall. She looked up.

Lisa couldn’t think of anything to say.

– That’s a beautiful image you’re painting there high up in the Andes.

– In the what?

– The mountains. It’s lovely to visit places with your mind, don’t you think?

– What are you?

Lisa was right in between freaking out and being thrilled, she couldn’t choose how to feel.

– We are Star People. We are really good friends of yours, the Earth People. In fact, we are related.

– Are you human?

– No, we are star beings. But the humans are our family.

She blinked.

– Can you fly?

They laughed.

– We don’t exactly fly, we just travel but sort of without the vehicles you use for travelling.

– Are you angels?

– No. But they are family too. We are only stopping by today, short visit. And we have an important message for you.

Lisa leaned against the rock and held on to some moss to stay calm.

– That thing you were doing just now, when you were creating with your imagination, like travelling in your mind?

– Yes?

– We want to ask you to do that a lot. Those moments when you feel really good and light and limitless.

– Ok?

– We also want to ask you to help others do the same.

– But…everyone can do that.

– Yes they can. But they don’t. So we want to give you the very important task of helping them to remember how to do it and then help them to actually do it. Every day.

– But…why?

– This whole Earth-Star People-Angel family depends on it. Everything will be determined by what we can IMAGINE. TOGETHER.

Health. Peace. Nature. Climate. Science. Schools. Families. Do you understand?

– But…it’s just playing.

– Playing. With good, loving intentions. That’s what we need very very urgently. Are you in?

– You bet.

Big smile. Lisa had an important task. One that was fun too!

She started thinking about who to play with first,  and before she knew it the Star People were gone.

But not really.


The Buddha and the coughing cat

Right behind a wall of old bricks, under a Eucalyptus tree and surrounded by roses and lavender, sat the Buddha statue. He was put there to spread peace in the garden.

Now and then the family living there would place precious pebbles in front of him and weed away the Dandelion.

The Buddha was laughing and his round belly seemed to water abundance into the thriving garden.

One day the Buddha was interrupted in his perpetual meditation by a sound he did not recognize. It came from the corner of the garden, behind and apple tree and a fig tree.

 

– Who is that and what is your intention in this garden of peace?

 

Only silence at first. After a few minutes the green foliage behind the trees started to move and out came the most sorry-looking cat you could imagine.

He was orange, skinny and all wet. He was coughing like a heavy smoker.

 

– I am Christo the Cat.

 

– I see. What are you doing in my garden?

 

– I have been kicked out of my home. I don’t know where to go.

 

– That’s quite a cough you have there.

 

– I have been out in the rain for days and now I have a bad cold.

 

– So maybe you could explain this to me…I know many cats who are free, who live in the wild. They never get wet and they certainly never catch a cold.

 

– But if you’re out in the cold you get ill, right?

 

– Do the ducks get ill? The crows? The deer?

 

– Well I…I don’t know. It’s just that I’ve heard so many stories about cold and illness…and I…feel really ill and…

 

– Stories. Let’s talk about stories. What’s your story, Christo the Cat?

 

– Well…I was raised in a family that wasn’t good to me. They kicked me and forgot to feed me and now they have kicked me out.

 

– And before you lived with them?

 

– I only remember that I had a beautiful, sweet mother and two sisters.

 

– Loving mother. Warm, sweet. And then a temporary stay with a family that was not a match.

 

– I guess you could put it that way.

 

– Is it possible that you are now set free?

 

– Well…but…I don’t have a home.

 

– No? Were you not born wild? Born to make your loving mother proud? Do you not have the skills, strength and intelligence to live and thrive in the wild?

 

– I have no idea.

 

– Maybe this story is only just beginning? Maybe you are now free to remember who you really are?

 

Christo coughed again, but somehow the cough sounded less miserable and convincing than just five minutes ago.

 

– You know what? said the round-bellied Buddha. You are always welcome in my garden. I suggest you get some sleep under that fig tree. Then, when you are rested, you can think a little bit about your story. Maybe you don’t even know your story yet.

 

Christo the Cat did. He slept and slept.

 

And then he wrote a new story.

 

In the wild.

 

 


The Starling and the Berries

Once upon a time in the mountains of a warm and sunny country, a Starling was busy harvesting the red berries he loved so much.

He had already picked seven of them from the tree and now he wanted to bring them to his nest. He flew away with one but then heard a sound behind him and immediately returned. He didn’t want anyone else to eat his berries.

He was wondering how to do this. Could he put all seven berries in his beak? He tried but could not fit more than three. He tried to grasp all seven berries with his feet but succeeded only with four and then accidentally squashed one.

Now, if you know anything about Starlings, you know that they move as one body, even in flocks of hundreds. They are like dancing clouds of dust, they bounce and swirl as if they are one with the mystic heart of everything.

Starling asked his friends to help him. They came in hundreds and they all brought one berry straight from the tree to their brother’s nest. It overflowed with red berries. Under it grew a shiny red hill of deliciousness.

When seeing all the abundance and the flowing movement of his own kin, Starling woke up.

He did not need to struggle and sit on more berries than he could eat in a day.

He asked his friends to all enjoy the berries they themselves had brought.

Then he set off to dance with the wind together with his flock.


Willow, the talking Tree

Her long, slender branches had finally grown back.

She had been trimmed down to the point of being just a naked trunk, awkward and ugly, but now the long swaying vines made her beautiful again.

People who came to sit down at the shore could catch her shade and be soothed by her long billowing hair.

The gardener who trimmed her down every fourth year was loving but strict. He knew that we all need that sometimes. To be stripped of too long, thick, hardening branches. To be naked for a while. Dwell inside and save up spring energy and then explode in streams of new life and stories.

Luisa was down at the shore today, sitting on one of the thick, calcified roots, her bones aching but not so much as you would expect from someone who was way over seventy. She was thinking about the small things, like what to cook for dinner and when her grandchildren would come by, but also about the big things, like how to live a full, sparkling life even when your hair is white and the animal of your body slows down.

She remembered something her grandmother Alicia had told her once about the trees.

“They are living beings, with spirits, like us baby girl. If you have questions, all you have to do is choose a tree you like and then knock on the trunk and ask. The answer will always be given, in some form. A voice, a sign, a song on the radio.”

Luisa turned her stiff back and knocked on the trunk of the Willow tree she loved so much. Her voice was sandy and hoarse when she put words on her ponderings.

“Tell me Willow…how do I grow older with lots of laughter and pride?”

She listened but heard nothing. Just the water and playing children somewhere close. She patted the bark anyway, thanked the tree for shadow and beauty and got up to do her daily errands.

When she walked up to the road she ran into the gardener who was busy, as always, with the soil and leaves and blossoms.

– She is a beauty, isn’t she? He smiled and nodded in the direction of the Willow.

– It’s the best place to sit in the whole village.

– You know, some people get mad when I prune the trees. It looks awful for a while, that is true for sure. But if you don’t do that, they grow out of control and the branches become too heavy for the trunk. You really need to help those trees by trimming away the old and make room for the new.

He was talking even though she hadn’t asked anything and he didn’t seem to wait for a reaction from her. He was still muttering when he walked back to his little truck.

Luisa’s knees went weak.

It couldn’t be.

The gardener brought the answer to her question.

Luisa went home that day and cleared out all of her closet and the spair rooms.

Then she welcomed the awkward emptiness, keeping the long, slender, light green branches of the Willow in mind.


Glimgluff, the sad Troll

Fabian walked in the woods every morning, just before sunrise.

His grandmother’s little house was just at the foot of the mountain and miles of woods lay between them and their closest neighbours.

He followed the rim of the mountain. The birds sang as if they knew that the first sunrays need to be sung into this realm, otherwise it will remain dark.

This morning another sound broke through the melodies and the chirps. Someone was crying loudly and hopelessly. Fabian looked around and saw the shadow of something huge leaned against the mountain wall.

Gigantic.

Round.

Wild-looking.

Troll.

 

Fabian could not believe what he saw. Round-eyed. Curly-haired. Big-boned.

– Can I help you?

Fabian’s light voice cut right through the convulsions and the troll looked up, startled, his eyes now even bigger and rounder.

– Who…who are you?

– I am Fabian. I live in the white house down there. Who are you?

– I am Glimgluff. I am the youngest in the troll family living in this mountain.

Fabian tried to conceive of this idea. It seemed to make sense. If someone should live in a mountain, it should be a troll.

– Why are you crying?

– Nobody likes us. Nobody likes ME. I am too big, too ugly, too scary. People think that we are all bad. That we keep children captured in the mountain.

– I have heard those stories. Are they not true?

– Well…there have been a few bad trolls in the family, who did bad things. But that was then. I am not them. I love children. I just want to play. But I am so big and heavy, I can’t fit into any building. And it is making me feel really lonely.

Fabian felt really sorry for Glimgluff. He seemed to be a boy just like him but caught in the body of a giant.

– What should I do?

Glimgluff looked at Fabian with round button eyes that never seemed to blink.

– I don’t know.

Fabian sat down next to him.

– Do you want to come fishing with me?

Glimgluff looked like he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He nodded so intensely that his moss covered curls flung back and forth.

All morning they were down at the river, fishing with Fabian’s rod. It looked like a toothpick in Glimgluff’s hands. He was much too strong indeed and pulled the fish so hard out of the water that the line snapped every time. Or he accidentally squeezed the fish when he wanted to remove the hook, leaving only a wet stain between his thumb and his index finger. They were laughing until they couldn’t stand up anymore and the mountain trembled just a little every time.

They hurried back before the sun was too high in the sky, trolls were not supposed to be out in broad daylight.

Just before saying goodbye, Fabian looked at Glimgluff and said:

– Ask me again.

– What do you mean?

– The question you asked me this morning. Ask me again.

Glimgluff had to think really long and hard.

– What should I do?

– You are trying to fit into a tiny, human world. Why don’t you pull other people into your world instead? There is so much space and fun in your world. I could play with you forever.

Glimgluff was thinking is his slow troll fashion and suddenly his brown, apple-cheeked face shone like the sun.

Since then, Gliffgluff has invited loads of children into his magic world. He has many friends and even though he still cries sometimes, he never has to cry alone anymore.

 

 

 


Great Grandmother Spider

She was misunderstood.

The weaver of wisdom and protection. Such a calm guardian. Kind, loving, fierce.

Yet she scared most people. Their fear wrote stories about her character and hers was a life that could be taken. Not a loss. She was a creepy being anyway.

In the ancient stories she was loved and praised because of the silky patterns she could weave. Only visible to the eye in the sunlight. And yes she could catch what she needed to feed her family. Why shouldn’t she? Everyone knew back then that she was a sacred guardian.

But people forgot. And now they seemed to want to kill her most of the time.

She was wondering if it was time to return to the unseen world, but she loved the world too much to leave it unwoven and unprotected.

Now and then there were beings even in the human world who could feel her presence and honour her role, her thread in the big fabric. That made it easier.

One day the ancient stories would be remembered, told, restored and rewoven. They were too magic and loving to disappear. She knew that nothing is ever really lost.

If Great Grandmother Spider greets you today…try greeting her as the guardian that she is.