Good Saturday morning from Friendship Square in Moscow, oh longed-for Literati!
Our contest tribute to Peggy Dobbs continues…in fact I have a backlog of entrants crowding the bus. This particular entry by Diane Cresswell clearly was inspired by Peggy rather than the prompt. If you are new to the site, I suggest you read our home page and see how all this came about, and maybe even pull up some of Peggy’s stories and comments through the search window.
It is not a requirement that you ever knew Peggy in order to enter the contest…Just think of an incident, real or imagined, where you can (in?)appropriately insert the line: “I swear, it’s not too late.” Our winner gets five Franklins.(Talk about your Hi Five!)
If you believe in Faeries, clap your hands. If you believe in magic, read further.
When One Believes
by Diane Cresswell
“I’m aware of the mystery around us, so I write about coincidences, premonitions, emotions, dreams, the power of nature, magic.”
On the very top shelf of the cupboard is a pottery jar. On the front of that jar it says: MAGIC. I had totally forgotten I had it. Reaching up on tiptoes, I slid the jar so my fingers could wrap around it without dropping it to the floor. I held it in my hands attempting to remember the last time I had opened it. I couldn’t remember. Gently my fingers opened the top. Leaning back at first not knowing what to expect and then slowly leaning forward to peer inside to see what was there. Nothing!! Empty – just a speck of dust, not even a full dust bunny. Where did it go – the magic? Pondering the dilemma of the emptiness, it came to me that I had never opened it up at all. Did all the magic disappear? Must have for there was nothing within. Slowly it came to me of where and when I received this jar of magic.
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
― Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
I looked up and up and up and up. My neck hurt from looking up so high. The tree in front of me was gigantic to a little girl. It was so beautiful. Long limbs held many branches. The leaves were so thick and dark green that not a smidgen of sunlight filtered through. The wind flicked the leaves into unattainable dance positions. To my eyes it was magic – the whole tree was magic and I got to sit under it. I thought about wizards, fairies and elves. If I sat real still I wondered if they would find me.
“No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith.”
― R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver
They found me, but not until I was a bit older. One minute I was sitting there quiet under my magical tree and the next – a flash of light. When the light faded away a beautiful lady stood there. I stared at her not sure if I should run, scream or laugh! Smiling at me, she introduced herself. Her name was Tel’ndriel. We spoke together for hours. Tel’ndriel told me many stories about herself and her people. Finally I realized that it was time to go home, but I promised that I would come back again to talk with her if that was acceptable. She agreed. In a flash of light she was gone. Understatement – I was stunned and under a spell of magic.
“That’s the thing about magic; you’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.”
― Charles de Lint
Over the years, Tel’ndriel and I met many times under that tree. When she wasn’t there I would talk to the tree telling it my problems. We all have problems especially when we are growing up because they are so dramatic. I poured them out to the tree along with tears, screams and sometimes laughter. I remember one day I was telling my tree about a love affair gone wrong when Tel’ndriel quietly stepped into my circle of emotions with a jar in her hand. I looked at her with giant tears smudging my cheeks wishing I could go with her when she left instead of going home to a hurtful mess. She gently took my hand and placed the jar into it. I looked at it and saw the word MAGIC written on it. I stared at her with a question in my eyes. She smiled and said, “Muriel this is for you. I am giving you magic in a jar to help you in times of trouble. It contains very special magical spells from my people. When you have a need, just open the jar and what is needed to help you will come out and go straight into your heart. The only thing you have to do is believe in it.”
I smiled through my tears and thanked her for the precious gift she gave me. I forgot to open it up.
When I was older, I met a man who loved me in spite of my strangeness, who gave me his heart to care for and love. We had children and my youngest daughter was my light. I introduced her to my magic tree telling her the stories that Tel’ndriel told me. Soon they too had grown up and left home. I didn’t see my beautiful elf in those days, for I had been busy being a mother, doing all the things that families do until I forgot all about the tree, the lovely Tel’ndriel and the jar of magic.
My world fell apart the day my love left this earthly home. I was devastated, crying tears that didn’t seem to end. Lost, unsure, laughter and light were gone from my life. It took months of slow recovery. Then I found my jar of MAGIC.
“In the depth a light will grow,
A silver shine no shadows know,
Like wings unfolding in the sky,
That circle ’round a gleaming eye,
Turning darkness all away,
Even depths will know their day,
For every shadow has its end,
Life will return again!”
― Robert Fanney
She came to me as I sat quietly under the tree. I told her I had forgotten to believe.
She smiled. “I swear to you by everything that I hold true. I swear to you it’s not too late. It’s never too late to believe again. When you feel that within you, open the jar. It holds everything you need.”
I sat very still breathing slowly, then, with a smile I opened the jar.