Once upon a time a solitary little girl learned to read. At first this was an almost magical experience, but one day something happened that was truly magical. She was sitting under a beautiful big tree with the warm sun filtering through the leaves. As she began reading her book she smiled. Pretty patterns of dappled sunlight danced across the pages and as she watched, the letters on the page joined the tiny shadow patterns and began to dance and sing right before her eyes. Soon, the leaves in the book, the leaves falling from the tree, and the shadows of the leaves were all dancing and singing together. The little girl was so full of joy she danced and sang with them.
Leaves and letters whirled around her head and her feet, and wound themselves into her fingers and hair. They whispered secrets to her, and what secrets they were! Some made her laugh aloud; some made her weep softly or sob till her heart almost broke. There were secrets about people and places and animals; secrets about languages and music and movement; secrets about pain, and a beauty so great it was almost too much to bear; and joy, joy like warm spring sunshine. But the greatest secret of all was about her secret family and her secret home and her very own secret friend who was always with her.
There was a long and gentle silence when the leaves and the letters settled back into place, and the little girl curled up and slept. But while she slept, those cheeky letters crept out and danced into her dreams, forming Characters and Ideas; Questions and Puzzles; singing Music and Mazes and magical Possibilities. These strange creatures took on lives of their own and followed the girl growing with her as she grew, even when she was unaware of them.
One day, when she was a very very old lady she turned around suddenly – not a very good idea when one is very very old – and she surprised all those old friends dancing and skipping behind and beside her.
Now what do you suppose that very very old lady did?
She laughed of course! She held out her hands to those wonderful ever-present leaves and letters, to all the Characters, Ideas, Questions and Puzzles, Music and Mazes and the few leftover Possibilities, embraced them all, and laughing and dancing her very last dance, she fell into the arms of the partner she loved more than any other and he danced her away into youth and joy to live happily forever after with all her secret family.
PS… Shhhh… If you listen very very carefully you might hear them all laughing and singing together… still!
(Copyright Jenirose Hall ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)
It all began with the story and a very simple image, but like topsy, it grew and grew and grew 🙂