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 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.