The Fairy Gift
Across the oceans wide but still upon this very world, there lived a woman with her family.
The lands she lived in were pleasant enough; in the spring, all was green and pleasant; in the summer, golden and hot with deep blue skies above; in the autumn, there were splendid colours in the trees and soft sunlight sparkling between the leaves; and in the winter, snow would fall and turn the world to white in crystal beauty.
There was no war, her family was all alive and everyone had time to play as well as work and one might think that this woman was grateful, happy and lived a very good life but I'm afraid that wasn't so.
She would moan and whine, complain about gravity and how hard it was to put one foot in front of the other. She would complain about not being respected enough, not loved enough; and basically it could be said that nothing ever really pleased her as it should, no matter how pretty, bright or sweetly sensuous it might have been.
Now don't get me wrong, this woman was not at all a bad person, or wanted to be miserable all the time. It was just that she always felt that something was missing from her life and although she tried to be happy as best as she knew how, true happiness eluded her, no matter what she tried to have it be that way.
One night, the moon was full and round and very, very white, she looked out of her window and sighed because she wanted to go out for a walk, hear the trees whispering softly in the night air, and feel the breeze against her cheek, the misty moisture soothing her skin, her hair; but she felt too tired and too despondent to make the effort. She would have to get up, find her coat, find sturdy shoes and she was already worn out from a day that once again had been far too long to keep on trying to pretend that she was happy and content.
She looked through the window pane at the moon outside and she became very sad, much more sad than she normally was, and this time, she didn't have the energy to fight that old familiar sadness and she started to cry, big round tears that flowed like rivers, but why she cried, she did not know.
Now there were tears as well as the window pane between her and the moon outside and that was just too much to bear. The woman finally got up, put on her coat and her sturdy shoes and quietly, as not to disturb her husband and her children and the family dog, she slipped out the door and into the night.
As soon as she had taken the first steps away from the house, a great relief and a feeling of peace came to her and she knew she had done the right thing. She began to walk down the street and towards a place where trees were growing still and where one might forget for just a moment that all around there was just so much stone and metal, people stacked on top of one another, in their millions, mostly sleeping now.
Soon she arrived where the trees were still; and she went and stood amongst them, with her hands in her pockets, looking up at the moon and wondering why she had come, and what she could hope to find.
But here was a magic; and here I tell you that the woman on this night had heard a call to bring her here. She hadn't heard the call with ears, you understand; it was a magic kind of call that one hears with the heart and then your heart must lead the way and you must go and all the thinking you might do won't do a thing in any way.
And so it was that in the grove of trees a light began to shine, and on this night before the eyes of the astonished woman something did reveal itself and shimmered into being - a finer, higher light that did not blind her eyes but that was soothing and entirely fascinating.
The light grew denser and it formed the shape of what appeared to be a small girl, or perhaps a very tiny lady and the woman drew a breath in shock because she knew and recognised from somewhere old and very old this was a fairy - and it had come to meet her and to talk to her!
The woman stood stock still but shivered with excitement. She didn't dare to blink her eyes for fear that then the fairy might just disappear and it was all a dream - but then she heard a singing, a fine sweet voice and she did not understand the words with her ears, but with her heart and her heart grew strong and joyous for it had been waiting for a song like this forever and a day and never had it given up the waiting or the hoping that the day would come where magic would reveal itself to her and make her life complete.
The woman was immensely grateful just to be there and she wanted nothing more; but the fairy had a gift for her that went beyond the gift of being there - and what a gift that was already!
The fairy produced a small cup without a handle or a stem; perfectly shaped and rounded at the base, and it seemed to be made of living light, and from inside it, tiny sparkling things emerged and sparkled up like the bubbles in champagne and it was magic manifest.
The fairy held it out to the astonished woman and sang a something that would let the woman know this was her gift and she should take it, make it all her own - it's yours, I've come to give you this, accept this with my love and joy.
The woman was completely overcome by all of this but her hands moved all by themselves and opened, held out in a gesture of acceptance, and the fairy smiled a radiance and placed the magic cup into the woman's hands.
The woman took it, took it close and held it to her chest. She tried to formulate a way to thank the fairy but the fairy was already singing a farewell and with a shimmer, it was gone.
The night lay silent, save for a hush in the stately trees, and the woman's breath that left a plume of white.
She looked down and there was the fairy cup in her hands. It was quite real, felt cool and lively all at once and there were those fascinating little lights that sparked from deep within - and it was fairy dust!
The woman touched the fairy dust with greatest care and an outstretched fingertip. Her finger sparkled for a moment, there was a sweet and lively small sensation that travelled right up her arm and into her very core and it was gone.
And then the woman laughed aloud and the sound of her laughter rippled the trees and the night, and the moon heard it too and was delighted just the same. She took the cup and carefully placed it in the pocket of her coat, held tight by her hand wrapped around and tingling from the fairy dust, and as she walked more lightly, swiftly, than she'd ever walked before back home she had a thousand ideas of where to brighten up her world and bring a sparkle of life and joy and lightness to her home and those she loved with all her heart.