Chapter Six – Willow Creek
A Fairy Tale by Dakota Earth Cloud Walker
Alwyn pulled the compass from her pocket, she felt it humming. Its golden glow began to pulse, and the needle circled around the directions. North, South, East, now West … When it finally came to a stop, it pointed them deeper into the forest along a small pebble path. Ahead of them, they saw a giant willow tree with soft hanging branches.
“I’m getting tired, Alwyn.” Rowan and Darach began to slow down. “Let’s rest and eat our honey cakes under that tree.”
They pulled a blanket out of the backpack and laid it out under the tree. It had small holes in it from the last time they had a picnic in a small batch of the wooden glen by their house. It was one of the few places they could still find a little bit of magic in their ordinary world. The trees sang if you listened very intently. Most people couldn’t hear it, but Rowen and Alwyn always could hear something.
“Hello, you are such beautiful humans.” A delicate, melodious voice rang out into the air. The twins looked around them, there were no other humans or animals besides Radha and Darach.
“Who are you? Where are you?” Rowan asked, looking around, still trying to locate the source of the lovely voice.
“I’m Willow. And you’ve stepped into my home. I very much love company, and most especially the company of young humans.” Her branches reached down and stroked their shoulder and back. They felt lulled by her gentleness.
Radha jumped off Alwyn’s shoulder and scurried up the trunk of Willow and sat steadily on one of the higher branches. Darach paced around the trunk, rubbing his face against Willow’s bark then settled on a large stone that hung over the small creek flowing just beneath Willow.
Rowan and Alwyn ate their honey cakes, sharing bits of the crumbs with the ants and small field mice who also had found their home beneath Willow. It felt safe here, Alwyn thought. In her ordinary world, she hadn’t felt quite safe enough to show her colors or her glowing seed. She always kept it hidden for many reasons but mostly because she didn’t want others to be sad that they didn’t see their glowing seed. Even at a young age, she had taken on the responsibility of the world, hoping to be the magic for others while not yet allowing herself to feel hers fully. She had played small to make others feel more comfortable, and more accepted. She had lost herself along the way. Sitting beneath Willow, she could see all the ways in which she had held back and pretended to be happy when she was in fact, scared. Or accepted things even if she didn’t want it to be that way because she feared hurting someone.
The afternoon felt dreamy, and Alwyn and Rowan fell into a deep sleep under Willow. Rowan dreamt of the colors he had experienced in Firefly Thicket and dreamed of painting his ordinary world in those same vibrant hues. He saw himself as a grown man, filled with possibility and curiosity. He saw his family flourishing and happiness spilling from each other as they connected. His life seed was radiating, it felt full of potential and ready to bloom. His confidence was rooted in the wisdom he fed off of this radiant seed. He knew he had everything within him that he would ever need, including the magic.
Alwyn was also lulled into a prolific dream state. She saw tiny strands of golden thread connecting her to all those around her and on these tubulars of thread, information was easily spread from one to another. She tugged on the strand that was connected to her mom in the ordinary world, and she waited and waited still until she felt the tug back. She imagined herself standing tall, and proud, beaming with love and she channeled that message through Mom’s golden strand. A tiny tear formed in the corner of her eye; she missed her parents even though she knew she had to stay here until she found enough magic to bring back. A tug on the strand came back and she was instantly filled with unconditional love and gratitude. “It’s okay, dear one, you do the big work now because the world needs people like you and your brother. Your Grandpa would be proud.” The message came through and Alwyn felt the relief come over her, and the sadness too. She sent a message back thru the golden strand, “This work feels big and lonely at times, but I must continue this journey to the Enchanted Land of Gaia so that I can discover the magic once again.”
Rowan and Alwyn remained in a dream state all night, discovering the golden strands they held to others and finding the beauty both within and outside themselves. Willow held space, with her branches creating a safe nook for them to rest, the quiet lull of the creek speaking to their hearts, and Willow’s roots cradling these two spirits as they found their way back to the infinite nature of love.
The wind flowing through Willow’s branches reminded them to breathe deeply and fully all that is love.