and then she knew…she needed trees

This is a story you will not understand. But it will be told, because it wrote itself with a sudden urgency, as if it is, somehow, necessary. Perhaps it is.

Once upon the time, in a strange desert, lived a girl with a guarded heart. She lived and worked mostly so as to forget the heavy scars she carried. And also, to build a safe space where she could maybe once again, someday, plant stars.

Suddenly, a boy appeared at the doorstep of her solitude. She was not ready for visitors. Even ones she already knew.

Still, he burst into her fragile world like a shooting star. He brought laughter and beautiful words that described important things. He brought names she did not know, for things she loved.

And, he reminded her of her true name, one he had given her long before.

For she was magic.

It took a long time for tenderness to forge a path through fear. But in the end, she accepted his gifts. She opened, because how could she not?

He…he was joy and strength.

Everyone knows that magic needs joy and strength to sparkle. And everyone knows joy and strength wither without magic.

They were meant to be. Not to complete, but to enhance each other. And they were. And they did. Beautifully.

Of course you know what comes next…

Shadows came, as shadows are known to do. Relentless. Unjust. Undeserved.

They brought a poisoned rain to feed untruth and fear. They grew. And grew. Until a shattering. And then another. The final one.

All the girl in the desert had was her name, and her words. And love, so much love. But for some reason she didn’t understand, magic, words and love were not enough.

The boy vanished.

And the girl…well, she fought harder than ever. Alone, against all odds. To claim what she had earned and didn’t yet receive.

Eventually, she won. The shadows, with their sinister trail of darkness, were defeated. The universe at last relented…hers was a stubborn soul.

She was alive and she had won. It was all her doing.

But strangely, she had also died.

She did not know this at first. She did not realize that instead of planting stars, she buried magic as deep as she could. And then, herself…in silence. Impenetrable. Numb. Interrupted only by the memory of words she now knew, words for important things she could not remember how to love.

So then….

Once upon the time, in a strange desert, a girl with an absent heart was known to still exist. She persisted through her days and worked mostly so as to nurture her numbness.

Until one day, when something changed. Something, from somewhere, nudged her.
The stars perhaps, even though they were not stars she herself planted.

So she stepped out into the world, suddenly, completely, prepared for a new role and a new life.

What she discovered was unexpected.

Where she imagined belonging, she found only strangeness. Where she imagined certainty, she found only contradiction.

Her image of herself was of course, an illusion. And she realized nothing was ever going to be real as long as she refused to listen to her true name, as difficult as that was.

For she was magic.

So at long last, she listened. She picked up the fallen child within, and she listened.

Of course you know what comes next…

She finally saw who she really was.

She saw that she was not home in the desert. And that she liked all the things she wanted to hate so that they could scare her less, and also, hurt less.

She saw she didn’t just love her things. But the other things as well. Like cold evenings, and seasons, and rain, and warm blankets, and kitchens, and cabins in the mountains where stars sing.

And also, mismatched tea cups, and little bowls, and small rooms, and early mornings, and jars full of homemade preserves, and awfully colored kitchen towels.

And even though she loved the sea, she realized what she most loved, and needed, was not at all the sea. The sea was not home.

Home was a different space. And what she most loved and needed were trees.

Yes, the girl who lived in a strange desert needed trees.

And she wondered, suddenly aware of a tiny spark of presence, what the boy who had vanished would think if he knew that all along, it was trees she loved and needed most.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I like your style of gentle folklore/fable, woven into fairytales. Very Neil Gaiman. The perfect bedtime reading for lovely dreams.


    1. jb says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.