They knew her as Dream Girl, Child of Awe.
She lived in the fields just outside town. Gardens surrounded her home, and beyond that a wall with a great door. You could find her balancing atop the wall, listening. Her bare feet felt for familiar stones, ruddy cheeks turned toward the sky.
“Feel how soft the wind is,” she’d say, “And how perfect the dog that barks in the meadow.”
By night, she lounged on her roof, braiding long blades of grass in the moonlight.
Gatherer, they called her. They recognized the creaking of her metal pail as she roamed the village.
She began early, collecting broken things and sticky things, golden, watery, and salty things. There was nothing she didn’t inspect with both eyes and both hands. In it all, she saw the seeds of sweetness.
She carried her pail to the brook and rinsed her treasures in the chattering water. One by one, she’d bless them. “You shall grow into something beautiful, I think.”
With delicate earnestness, she delivered everything to her garden.
They called her Farmer of Light, Shepard of Hearts. They knew her by the lute slung across her back.
Standing over the garden, she cast pillows of sound. Light as the fairyfly, rich as chocolate, vibrant as autumn, her music drifted over the sleeping seeds in radiant rose and turquoise light. She sighed as the air around her dropped its heaviness.
Her garden seemed a miracle, otherworldly but deeply familiar.
She could stay like that forever, resting in this place of comfort and beauty. But life keeps on moving, and she would soon be drawn beyond the gate again.
You are that, Dear One. Or don’t you remember?
Even if it seems the world has stripped you of your amazement, you can become that child again. And you will be soft wonderment.
Make friends with the world in all its wildness. You may be tired, maybe afraid. Your fears about the world outside make sense. But so do your hopes. The world can be cold but also so warm. There is suffering but also so many who’d devote their lives to ending it. You don’t always have to enjoy what you see, but can you love it all the same?
Find acceptance for where you are. Breathe in what’s dark and heavy, and breathe it out as brilliant white. It might not solve anything in the moment, but then again, it could change everything.
When you feel alone, remember that all of us have our own versions of what you’ve been through.
Surround yourself with beauty, whatever that means to you. Find possibility where obstacles stand and love where hate has taken root. Nurture all you encounter as if it contains the seeds of sweetness. You alone decide what you harvest. To everything you possibly can, say, “You will grow into something beautiful, I think.”
Let your garden be easy and a little unruly. There, you can be human.
And as life keeps on moving and you are called beyond the gate, take the road that brings you higher, higher. You’ll find us there, too. We will know you by your heart. What shall we call you?
May the road bring you back to yourself.
May the sun wrap you in bewilderment.
And may the rain leave you an open morning glory.
Open, open, open,