I took a turn in the garden this morning, the dog by my side. The air was crisp and cold, sunshine warmed my back, the Med was placid under the immense sky filled to eternity in saturated blue. We were approaching the camellias when the dog stopped, looked at me with a question, then moved slowly, muzzle to the ground, sniffing, searching… He overturned a frond, and I heard a plaintive cry that made him jump back but brought me closer.
There she was, curled on wood chips, battered and bruised, brown and dirty. Wood Sprite was hurt and weeping.
The dog crouched by my side as I fell to my knees.
“Wood Sprite! What happened?” I cried as I smoothed the dirt off her hair and wiped her tears.
“The butterfly effect,” she sighed.
“What do you mean?”
“A butterfly flew around a flower in Opal Creek and started an ill wind that reached me. I didn’t hear it come, I didn’t see it as I was dreaming. It knocked me off my moon beam; I couldn’t breathe and I tumbled through branches, leaves and thorns. I am no more.”
“You are right here! You are a sprite, you can’t die. Please stop crying.”
“Who told you sprites were immortal?” she asked, a bit cross.
“I read it somewhere.”
“Not true. Sprites die when no one believes they exist, when they don’t matter, when no one remembers the stories. Sprites are an illusion,” she said, closing her eyes.
“You are not an illusion! I see you, I hear you, I feel you for Pete’s sake!”
“You do all that with your mind, your imagination,” she said, barely audible.
“ But Sprite, I see everything that is real with my mind, I hear music with my mind… all that is real come from mind or heart or both,” I replied, getting more and more upset.
“No. Truth is reality. I am a delusion, a shadow, an echo of something that never was… The butterfly did you a favor. It’s time for me to fade away. Let me go.”
“Sprite, please! No, don’t say that. You have to be, because I know you. You laugh, you dance, you live, you make me smile, you teach me, you are part of my heart beat…”
She said nothing, curled in a ball, shriveling before my eyes. Trembling, I brought her out in the sunshine but she kept shrinking. I took her in my hands and showed her the sky but she didn’t care. I held her close to my heart, willing her to stay but she just wept and faded more.
The dog whimpered.
Then I did what I always do when reason fails me, when my mind is helpless and my heart springs another crack: I put an ear bud in place, turned on music with a heart beat and let it drown us in sounds and vibrations to silence all thoughts and sorrow.
On my knees still, I wrapped her in my illusions, delusions, dreams, hopes, imagination, convictions, everything that I am. And hanging on, holding on, we made our way back to the life I create.
Incroyable. Tu es encore stupefiante. Mais je crois que le pauvre farfadet vit toujours dans les coeurs, au moins le tien et le mien. Et pour le papillon, tristement, la vie est trop courte. Ca, tu sais bien.
Merci. J’espere en effet que le farfadet vivra toujours dans nos coeurs.
Oui la vie est trop courte. Je ne peux pas le nier.
I don’t think your mind is ever helpless.
Hah! Actually, it often is. But thanks for the vote of confidence. 🙂
Was interrupted when I wanted to write this…, but this is such a poingnant story. Was glad to read that you “wrapped her up” and took her home with you, but then, what do you expect from a hopeless romantic like me ? It was a wonderful story, bittersweet but very nice.
I am glad you liked it. I have been reading some stuff about perception and reality, how all exists in our mind because of the electric impulses that translate everything we perceive into a “reality”… my imagination at work again. Thanks for reading Paul.
Are you sure it was imagination…, or was it reality ???
Or was it imaginative reality…, or maybe real imagination??? ….I’m sooo confused !!!
Makes two of us!
Moved by this,
Wow…that is beautiful! Your writing is for me walking through the forest and knowing that the trees can hear my heart. Thank you for always sharing your honesty so poetically.
You are too kind, really. I write what I feel, just like you. And as you know, sometimes we have to find stories, metaphors, or pictures, to mean more than the words. Perception is the only truth we know intimately… My poetic mind knows trees are listening. Smile
Oh how moved I was reading this… You know when we saw the Spiderwick Chronicles, my precious children couldn’t believe their aging father went looking for stones with holes in them and went together looking for fairies… I can’t help myself… Something just moves inside…
And so glad to see you speak French, I’ve lost much of its freshness within, but I can still understand perfectly the comments here:-D
You’ve got a faithful follower:-D
Thank you and welcome! I think we all need some magic to escape from the overbearing weight of reason, from time to time. 🙂